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Georgia Tech reopens Northwest Regional innovation office in Rome

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A Georgia Tech program that helps industries implement new strategies now has an office at Georgia Highlands College’s Heritage Hall on East Third Avenue.

Two members of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, operated by Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), work in the office.

“Our primary service outreach is to manufacturers, although it is not limited to that,” said David Apple, region manager. “We do management training and guidance for innovative management practices.”

Apple, who’s been with Georgia Tech for 13 years, is joined in the Rome office by Andy Helm, who has been with Tech for seven years.

Georgia Tech has had a presence in Rome in some form or fashion for more than 50 years. Its Economic Development Institute previously had an office in Heritage Hall.

Stephen Fleming, a Georgia Tech vice president and executive director of the EI2, has been a featured participant in the Spec Tech and Confluence technology conferences in Rome. That started the wheels turning.

“As he spent some time in Rome and as I’ve been working in Rome, some people said a lot of things are going in Rome and maybe it’s time we think about re-opening our office here,” said Apple.

Helm has been working with the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition, Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center and the Harbin Clinic in recent years.

“Applying science and technology is essential to the economy of the future, and we believe Georgia Tech’s presence will help the area build a foundation for continued success,” said Craig McDaniel, chairman of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce’s Future Industries Initiative.

Apple and Helm will work with local manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the adoption of innovative practices in product development, energy management, sustainability and other strategic technology-related issues.