Collaboration flourishes at the 2nd Annual ARA Academy

The state’s leading scientists and researchers assembled at Little Rock’s Capital Hotel on October 27th for the second annual gathering of The Academy of Scholars and Fellows, hosted by Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA). While many important topics were under discussion, it was the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with colleagues from six research centers across the state that intrigued participants most.

The Academy, first assembled in 2016, was created to bring together top scientists from the state’s five research campuses – UAMS, University of Arkansas, Arkansas State, UAPB and UA-Little Rock. Also in attendance, representatives from the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) and members of ARA. The body met for a day-long discussion of research, resources, and entrepreneurship.

“None of you are comfortable with what is known,” said Mr. Jones, praising The Academy’s pursuit of discovery, “You want to live in the unknown.”

Featured guest speaker Sharon Ballard of EnableVentures joined Mr. Adams front-and-center for a “fireside chat” on bringing research to life through commercialization.

“Entrepreneurship brings your science to thousands of people,” explained Ms. Ballard, who works with closely with scientists to bring research to market. She went on to explain why scientists can be extraordinary entrepreneurs.

“The reason is you give a darn about your science,” she said.

The Academy wrapped up with constructive group discussions and collaborative one-on-ones. Plans for next year’s gathering, to be held at The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, were announced to close proceedings.