Updated March 22 at 8:22pm

Innovation key to economic development, Chamber says


PROVIDENCE – Innovation remains the key to economic development in Rhode Island, the senior managing partner of one of the world’s largest global investment firms said at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Monday night.

Paul Salem, of Providence Equity, told the gathering of about 700 people at the R.I. Convention Center that “the only job growth we’re going to see in the next 10 years will be through innovation.”

“Businesses today have to innovate,” he said. “If you aren’t innovating, your business is in trouble.” Salem has spent more than 20 years in the equity business.

The intended center for innovation in Providence is the Knowledge District. Stephen Lane, CEO and founder of Ximedica in Providence, unveiled a one-minute video that will used to market the 600 acres that make up the district. A link to the video is available on the Chamber website.

“It’s time that we take pride in what we have, right here right now,” Lane said.

Lane told business leaders that now is the time to open their Rolodexes and tap into their LinkedIn connections to contact people who should come to Rhode Island.

“Who do you know who could benefit from being located in Rhode Island?” he asked. Lane is a member of the Chamber Board of Trustees and the board of directors of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation.


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