There is a school of thought, promoted right here in the Ocean State at Rhode Island School of Design, that calls for the integration of art and design with science and technology to provide a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
Innovation has often been synonymous with science, technology, engineering and math — STEM. With the addition of art and the flourishing design industry that follows, the STEAM movement can be instrumental in the creation of new industries and jobs to boost our economy. Science and creativity are converging, and we need to continue to equally support both to pull our economy forward.
In Rhode Island, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., has championed adding art and design into federal programs that target STEM fields to encourage innovation and economic growth. Government agencies have followed, and we are seeing the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts working together.
STEAM is becoming an emerging industry in Newport County with high-tech jobs and growth opportunities that are backed by workforce development initiatives.
As a voice for local businesses, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce seeks to highlight the importance and breadth of our emerging STEAM industries and their innovative capabilities. It is important that we align our efforts with the state’s focus, so we are an active partner in our state’s future success.
We plan to showcase the innovative work taking place in Newport County and provide our members with the opportunity to see first-hand the exciting new capabilities in our community. The Newport County Chamber of Commerce’s STEAM Before Hours series will offer an interactive experience for our members to see such exciting innovators as FabNewport and the capabilities of Community College of Rhode Island cyber range and the International Yacht Restoration School of technology and trade. We are hoping to visit Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, and some of our area’s top technology companies as well.
We encourage our members to join with us for our upcoming STEAM Before Hours series, which will be announced in our Chamber Spotlight, e-news, and at newportchamber.com. We also hope that all members of the community embrace the importance of STEAM as a catalyst for our future.
Erin Donovan-Boyle is executive director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. Commerce Spotlight appears every third weekend of the month in The Daily News and online at Newport DailyNews.com.