Cameron University President Cindy Ross is pleased to announce the opening of the CETES Conference Center, a new addition to CU's Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES). The CETES Conference Center, a state-of-the-art conferencing facility, is the second phase of CU's innovative economic development initiative.
"The addition of the CETES Conference Center to the Cameron campus will further our mission of fostering economic development in southwest Oklahoma," says Ross. "It is not enough for Cameron to provide students a top quality education under caring faculty, which indeed we do. Cameron must also be a leader in generating jobs to keep those graduates in southwest Oklahoma to live, work and raise a family."
Available to accommodate conferences, meetings, workshops, banquets and more, the CETES Conference Center will play a key role in establishing CU as the premier location of choice for business networking and education.
The divisible meeting space can be set up in a variety of ways to meet conference needs, providing the flexibility of three room size options to accommodate a range of activities from an intimate meeting to a large scale banquet. The CETES Conference Center is equipped with three independent drop-down video screens and projection systems that provide video-conferencing capabilities, podiums with full sound, wireless internet, and an on-site catering kitchen.
Funding for the CETES Conference Center was provided by the City of Lawton's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and a federal grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"I want to thank the citizens of Lawton/Fort Sill for making this facility possible," says Ross. "Due to the voter support of the city's Capitol Improvement Program in August 2004, the citizens of this community have contributed $1.5 million for this expansion. This funding represents a landmark gift as Cameron University is the first and the only university to receive property tax revenue for a university's economic development efforts. The support of the Lawton/Fort Sill community plays a significant role in the fulfillment of Cameron University's mission as a leader in higher education and as an economic development catalyst for this region."
The CETES Conference Center also houses two critical resources for Lawton-Fort Sill and the State of Oklahoma. It will be a back-up emergency operations center for the City of Lawton, providing communication capabilities to emergency management personnel in the event the City's primary emergency operations center is disabled. Additionally, the CETES Conference Center will house the data disaster recovery system for OneNet. Oklahoma's official communications and information network for education and government, OneNet is a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, operated in cooperation with the Office of State Finance.
Opened in June 2005, Cameron University's Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES) is a multipurpose facility that functions as a catalyst for the development and growth of knowledge-based industries in Oklahoma. CETES serves as a prime example of the need for higher education to play a role in economic development. In order for Oklahoma to prosper, it must identify and create an environment that stimulates technology-driven companies. Doing so will help stop the exodus of the state's college-educated residents to other states in search of better-paying jobs.
"CETES helps grow the next generation of innovators - the small young companies that will bring emerging technologies to market," says Arun Tilak, Assistant Director. "Cameron University provides the necessary support network, advanced technological curriculum and business acumen for companies to become successful in our global economy."
CETES serves as a business incubator to sustain new technology companies by providing office space, technical advice and computer support for entrepreneurs to encourage them to locate their businesses in southwest Oklahoma. CU faculty members are available to provide advice in finance, strategic planning, marketing, accounting, business plan development, technology and communication. An in-house support team provides assistance with proposal preparation. There are currently seven incubator tenants in the facility.
Cameron students will also be a resource for the new companies. Working with the companies will allow the students to develop their technology and business expertise, as well as gain "real-world" experience.
CETES also houses the CU Department of Multimedia Design. The department has played a key role in providing skilled employees for technology-based industries across the nation.
February 5, 2009