Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC)

Making Innovation Central to Rhode Island's Future Gina M. Raimondo, Governor

STAC Grant Recipients Profiled in Campaign Highlighting RI Success Stories

Published on July 31, 2013

STAC Collaborative Research Grant recipients Jeffrey Morgan, Brown University and Dwight Coleman, University of RI, are highlighted as Rhode Island success stories in a statewide marketing campaign designed to celebrate Rhode Island and highlight the state's people, organizations, businesses, and industries.  Morgan recieved a STAC grant  to help develop an artifical organ using the 3D petrie dish he developed and Coleman was funded to develop software to manage marine scientific information stored at the Inner Space Center. 

The campaign, "Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard", was launched by the RI Foundation and will feature television and radio ads, billboards, bus shelter posters, web banner and tile ads and posters, signs and widow decals at T.F Green Airport.

"This is an internal marketing campaign designed to change the way Rhode Islanders talk about their state. There are plenty of successes to feel good about right here in our own backyard -- global industry and cutting-edge innovation, thriving entrepreneurship, world-class universities and a vibrant arts and culture scene," said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation's president and CEO.

"The state has a self-esteem problem. Backyard is a fact-based campaign that uses the real stories of real people to remind us of all the good things that are happening here," he said.

The Foundation rolled out the campaign at the Providence Performing Arts Center for close to 200 business leaders, policymakers, tourism officials, academics, and others committed to improving Rhode Island's economy.

Cheryl Merchant, president and CEO of Hope Global, is one of the Rhode Islanders who are featured in the campaign. The Cumberland manufacturer is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year.

"Manufacturing has always been a base and a core of the American and Rhode Island economies," she said. "And now it's on a new wave. It's innovative; the processes are at a whole new level, speed, and sophistication. At Hope Global, we are using lasers, ultra-sonics, and computerized cutting tables in the manufacture of textiles for many industries.

"Hope Global was actually awarded all of Red Wing Boots' business in China and the USA. We brought this business back to Rhode Island and now ship Timberland, Red Wing, and Wolverine boot laces to China, as well as the USA," said Merchant. "To meet added engineering performance requirements, we've made them with pull strength and UV testing and anti-wicking and all the things you wouldn't think you would do to just a simple shoelace."

Backyard's funding comes from the Foundation, the R.I. Commodores, Delta Dental of R.I., and the Victor and Gussie Baxt Fund at the Foundation. In addition, a host of companies including Channel 6, Channel 10, Channel 12, Clear Channel Media, Cox Communications, Full Channel, Lamar, the R.I. Airport Corporation, and Verizon have donated advertising space, time, and other services.

For more info visit ourbackyardri.com



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