Many of these efforts have been based on commissioned studies that offer frank assessments of the challenges the state faces, inter alia, in primary education, financing the formation of new businesses, and securing federal research funding.
The symposium presented a number of initiatives that are under way to address these challenges. These include initiatives in areas such as nanotechnology research and the manufacture of wind power generation equipment. Arkansas’ ability to address these challenges by improving its education, investment and research infrastructure, and by leveraging existing areas of strength to create new knowledge-based companies and jobs will determine the future standard of living and long run economic well-being of its citizens. The proceedings, found in the next chapter, provide detailed summaries of the presentations by the state’s business, political, and academic leaders, along with those of senior U.S. government officials and national experts. They highlight the challenges, accomplishments, and opportunities facing Arkansas today.