REDP gains recognition worldwide

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October 21, 2013
Richardson’s Telecom Corridor has long been known as the home of many top tech companies, and recently the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) earned international recognition for that legacy and its worldwide reach. 

Area of Innovation
The Telecom Corridor recently became only the eighth area in the country to receive membership in the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), a worldwide network that connects people involved in managing science, technology and research parks. IASP has members in 70 countries, but Richardson is among the first to be named as an “Area of Innovation,” a designation that recognizes the Telecom Corridor’s status as more than just a science park. 
“Becoming an official ‘Area of Innovation’ marks Richardson as an international leader in fostering high-tech opportunity and further burnishes our long-standing global reputation as a hotbed of technological innovation,” said REDP President and CEO Bill Sproull. “By becoming one of the first U.S. members of the IASP, and one of the few to have earned Area of Innovation status, we expect to create even more worldwide awareness of the rich high-tech ecosystem in Richardson for companies, entrepreneurs, investors and researchers. This designation, and membership in the IASP, will also help connect us in meaningful ways to innovation hubs around the world, facilitating a valuable exchange of ideas and growth opportunities.”

Silver Excellence in Economic Development
The REDP has already been busy making global connections through the Mayor’s Office of International Business, which it established in 2011 through a partnership with the City of Richardson. Earlier this month, those efforts helped the REDP earn a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). 
In only two years, the Mayor’s Office of International Business has created an international advisory council, appointed 15 ambassadors to travel overseas, launched an international business concierge program and conducted economic development trips to Scandinavia, Spain and France. The office also provides assistance to local companies looking to expand globally and international businesses interested in opening a location in the U.S. 
The REDP received the award in the category of Responding to Globalization for communities with populations of 25,000 to 200,000 at a ceremony during the IEDC annual conference in Philadelphia, Penn.

Sproull elected Chairman of Board of IEDC
Also at the annual conference, the IEDC elected Bill Sproull to serve a one-year term as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Sproull is the president and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce (RCC), Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) and the REDP. He will begin his term in January after stepping down as vice chair for the organization. 
“It is truly an honor to have been elected Chair of IEDC, the world’s leading membership organization of economic development professionals,” Sproull said. “It is a professional milestone, and I am ready to take on the duty of leading IEDC and our members through what I am certain will be yet another productive and rewarding year.” 
As an economic development leader in Richardson, Sproull helped the RCC earn a five-star rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the highest accreditation possible. He’s also been recognized for his leadership role in bringing a $3 billion Texas Instruments semiconductor factory to Richardson in 2003 and a 3,000-employee Bank of America operation in 2004. 
Sproull also serves on the Boards of Directors at the University of Texas at Dallas, the North Texas Regional Center for Innovation & Commercialization, the North Texas Commission and the Technology Councils of North America. He was the inaugural member inducted into the MTBC’s Hall of Fame in 2010. 

 fDi Magazine’s bi-annual “American Cities of the Future”
Earlier this year, Richardson was ranked third overall in the Americas, in its size category, in fDi Magazine’s bi-annual “American Cities of the Future” list, which evaluates cities for their attractiveness for inbound foreign direct investment (FDI). Richardson was the only Texas city making the top 10 in its size category and was the only North Texas city making the top 10 in any category, a nod to all the work the REDP has done in recent years.