FBI Compliance Academy

I attended the 1st FBI Compliance Academy in October of 2018.  This was a pilot offering of the program and was a one-of-a-kind outreach event between the FBI and various experts on substantive compliance and ethics topics facilitated by the Organizational Ethics & Compliance Program at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and Opus College of Business.

The FBI Compliance Academy is a multi-day event providing an overview of collaborative opportunities between the FBI and private sector partners.

Topics Included:

• Economic Espionage
• White-collar Crime
• The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
• Emerging cyber threats
• Export controls
• Risk Mitigation Planning
• Deadly Force Policy
• Situational Awareness for Violent Events

Many relevant case studies where shared spanning these topics and making it clear that all of these types of activities are happen right in your local city by providing both global and local examples.   It raises the bar of all employees and security professionals as to the level of capabilities your organization needs to develop to be on top of the latest security risks and how direct partnership with the FBI is a critical piece to your readiness and in direct involvement with criminal investigation and resolution for your organization.

See more pictures of the event in the gallery


Canada Announces Five Superclusters

waving canada flag
Canada commits to its vision to develop five new superclusters:
  • Ocean Supercluster (based in Atlantic Canada)
  • SCALE.AI Supercluster (based in Quebec)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster (based in Ontario)
  • Protein Industries Supercluster (based in the Prairies)
  • Digital Technology Supercluster (based in British Columbia)

Together the superclusters represent more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other participants in sectors covering 78 percent of Canada’s economy.

“The Innovation Superclusters Initiative created an important dialogue between industries, companies, and communities focused on building the next generation of manufacturing firms in Canada,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada. “These vital conversations have set the stage for new partnerships, customer relationships, and investment opportunities that will shape the future of advanced manufacturing in Canada.”
Source: SSTi

Canada’s Focuses on Superclusters

waving canada flagCanada is demonstrating a commitment to growing its economy and creating middle-class jobs for its citizens by moving forward with an Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $759 million (CAN$950 million) to generate public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country.

The first phase attracted more than 50 letters of intent, which represented more than 1,000 businesses and 350 other participants from all regions of Canada. The applicants put forward strategies to increase growth and create jobs across a wide range of innovative industries. Nine applicants have been prioritized and up to five will eventually be selected as Canada’s new superclusters:
  1. Artificial Intelligence-powered Supply Chains Supercluster; Quebec
  2. Building an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster for Canada; Ontario
  3. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster; British Columbia
  4. Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated (CLEER) Supercluster: Powering Clean Growth Through Mining Innovation; Ontario, with Quebec and British Columbia
  5. Mobility Systems and Technologies for the 21st Century (MOST21) Supercluster; Quebec, with Ontario, British Columbia and Atlantic Canada
  6. Ocean Supercluster; Atlantic Canada
  7. Protein Innovations Canada (PIC) Supercluster: Unleashing the Potential of Canadian Crops; Saskatchewan
  8. Smart Agri-food Supercluster; Alberta
  9. Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SSRI) Supercluster; Alberta
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Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the nine successful supercluster applications during a cross-country tour.  “Our government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative has started conversations and created solid partnerships between government, the private sector, academia and communities,” said Bains. “In today’s knowledge-based economy, this collaboration is essential. Together, we are building the economy of the future, creating the jobs of today and tomorrow, and gearing up for global success that will benefit all Canadians.”
Source: SSTi
While many cities are looking at localized or regional cluster efforts,  Canada leads the way with a national vision to develop competitive advantage.  With a national plan they can focus resources on cluster objectives and integrate industry supercluster across the nation and potential globe.  With national representation, at the highest levels, leading the way it sets a precedent in terms of both approach and potential of advancement for the nation.  It also great a clear vision as a global brand to the industries they are looking to partner and lead in.

Wisconsin Water Cluster Growing

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Wisconsin’s water cluster initiative continues to attract companies from across the nation and world to participate in their innovation and education centers,  the growing network of ecosystem development and their growing brand of industry leadership.

A recent example of attraction comes from Austrialia and south east Asia.  With its head office located in Sydney, Australia, a sales and operations office based in Singapore and a contract assembly hub in Shanghai, China, the BioGill team knew it was time for a U.S. office to be established.

In January of 2017 the company established BioGill North America Inc., and in July opened its Milwaukee office within the Global Water Center, employing Annie Weidert as Regional Manager for the Americas. In October BioGill exhibited at WEFTEC, along with The Water Council, in Chicago. After the company delivered a technical paper at the event there was a tsunami of interest in the technology, which has led to the expansion of its U.S. team by adding a second full-time employee in January 2018.

“One of my beliefs in business is that one plus one should equal three. To successfully scale up in business, you need to look for ways to value add, leverage and network. And that’s what the water hub in Milwaukee has delivered to us. We’re plugging into an influential and well- established industry network, helping us to make better informed decisions as we grow our client base in the U.S.” – Paul Hatten / CEO BioGill

“We looked at many locations and states for our U.S. operation, but Milwaukee and Wisconsin best suited our needs,” said Paul Hatten.  “While we have many sites and proven projects around the world, the U.S. is a relatively new market for us. The Water Council has proven to be a powerhouse of knowledge, contacts and advice. In the end, it was an easy decision and made perfect business sense to locate in Milwaukee.”

Source:  The Water Council

Wisconsin continues to lead in the US in terms of cluster development and building a global brand for industry leadership.   They have already launched over 6 cluster initiative in varying cities across the state but have the infrastructure and operational models to continue to move into more emerging industries faster than states that have no vision for cluster development and the regional advantage and attraction it creates.

UMN Visit to Ed Campus


I facilitated a delegation of Deans and Economic Development representatives form the UMN to attended a Ed Campus briefing from their CEO.   Hosted at their current HQ in the western suburbs of Minneapolis,  the delegations got to see a grand overview of their model of the future of education.   This spanned next generation facilities, architecture and community integration to new forms of experiential learning, industry internships, and a integrated system of K – Higher Education in career planning and development.   Many of these new models have been taken from extensive global research on effective education models and the funding of education.    Of particular interest is the model is built around advanced curriculum developed by multiple academic institutions and industry partners combining academic and applied knowledge.    The collaborative nature of the partnership provides a best of breed alternative to solo institutions and creates opportunities for differentiated learning where degrees and certificates are coming from multiple leading institutions from around the world.   The funding models also change how education can be funded to build a more sustainable system in comparisons to today’s student debt models.
There was extensive Q&A from the attendees and acknowledgment of the innovations and large base of institutions collaborating around the model, including many prestigious institutions will to participate in our region.  Reflecting on the conversations it was clear to see the desire to understand the model but at the same time the fear that the new models of education happening in the world will disrupt the older models that are struggling in the USA today.   The challenge universities like UMN will face is that these opportunities will be available in the coming years and offer much more attractive options that the systems that are currently failing today.    Remaining to be seen is whether our universities will become a part of the change or be left behind by the disruptive forces while holding on to an internal financial compensation model that serves them but not the greater good of society.

International Trade / MN Governor Trade Mission



One of my product development initiatives at the university was around creating services for supporting international B2B joint ventures and strategic alliances.   We have been doing direct 1:1 education and consulting to corporations directly to support their international business development objectives.    These would be long running engagements providing education, coaching, international networking, building business models,  etc, etc.    It was during this time period that the Governors Trade Mission to Mexico was underway and I was asked to attended. This mission would be from August 9 – 14th and be visiting Mexico City and Guadalajara with multiple meetings in each location.   We also meet with many of the planners and share our current activities and serves to re-imagine what might be possible during a trade mission and how to support the mission directly and the ongoing business afterwards.

We separated the initiative into four distinct phases based on a time horizon.   The first three phases where trade mission centric focusing on the pre, during, and post mission activities.   The four phase would be really be offering these durable business services to the public in an ongoing model to build and continue the international relationships and accelerate the ongoing exchange of business between the regions.
(Image: Activities by time phase)
Pre-Mission Activities
  1. Pre-Mission Webinars:  Drive Awareness & Recruitment (MN/MX) B2B in Mexico Briefing:
  2. Event for Attendees to drive deeper into doing business and exporting to Mexico (MN) Attendee
  3. Profiles:  UMN Created profiles of attendees for pre-mission distribution. (MN/MX)
  4. Joint Fund Raising:  Explore Mission sponsors,  attendees, and interested firms. (MN/MX?)
Trade-Mission Activities
  1. UMN channels will publish a TBD: “International Business with Mexico” Article and highlight the trade mission. (MN)
  2. Host a TBD: “International Business with Minnesota” (MX)
  3. Host B2B Business Development Session (MX)
  4. Provide B2B Assessments (MX)
  5. Host Academic Networking Event in Mexico(MX)
Post-Mission Activities
  1. Joint Press Release (MN/MX)
  2. Publish Activity Report (MN/MX)
  3. On Going Joint Venture Services (MN/MX)
On-going Activiites
  1. Letter from Governor (MX)
  2. UMN Business in Mexico Article (MN)
  3. Host Int. Biz in MN / Emersion Event (MN)
  4. B2B Networking Sessions (MN/MX)
  5. International MN/MX B2B Report (MN/MX)
  6. Annual International Report (MN/MX)
  7. Joint Press Release (MN/MX)
( Image services )
The images gives a few examples of services based on timeframes.   Given there is a large number of services available, I would summarize the services portfolio by several major categories that could be use to corporations, academic and government institutions on both sides of an international relationship.
  • Networking: This category of services represents the development and maintenance of two way relationships between the regions.   This is intended to be a proactive effort to have developed networks prior to the need to accelerate the speed at which connections can be made.   This effort also builds various advisory boards in advance to help coach and mentor parties through the process of international opportunities.
  • Marketing:  Regional joint marketing is also a key set of activities to help both regions keep abreast of events,  business partnerships, market trends, etc.    Basic open communication and awareness.
  • Market Profiles:  Data collection on industries, companies, institutions, market trends, political trends, economic trends, etc.
  • Events:  These are planned and reoccurring trade events.   Includes registration and facilitated sessions.
  • Business:  These are deeper services around Strategic Alliances and Joint ventures.   Evaluating partnerships,  strategic plans,  cultural training,  operations models,  communication, investment, etc.
  • Assessments: This is the data and metrics underpinnings of all the other services.   It is measuring all the activity and deals being done to build a base of metrics around time, cost, practices required to do this type of business between the respective regions and the overall impact that portfolio of business has created.
These international services could be used directly to support the trade mission or for any corporation in general looking to build international business opportunities.   The long term goal would for these processes and services to be running on going for all regional business to plug into as they needed to accelerate their international business objectives.    It would also keep the relationships active between Minnesota and other key regions around the globe,  again speeding the ability to network interested businesses in both directions.