Friday, March 30, 2007
Two years ago, AeA released Losing the Competitive Advantage?: The Challenge for Science and Technology in the United States. That report focused on the analysis of a growing problem: that although the United States still leads the world in science, technology, and innovation, it is at risk of squandering this preeminence as countries across the globe became more competitive and as we ignored the factors that got us here in the first place. America’s political leaders have become aware that more and more countries, companies, universities, and individuals around the world are trying to out-compete us. And yet, says AeA, we have not moved forward.
AeA calls on Democratic and Republican legislators, as well as the Bush Administration, to act in the 110th Congress on what was essentially agreed on but did not pass in the 109th: comprehensive legislation to advance American competitiveness in a global economy.
Friday, March 23, 2007
This last Wednesday, the WSA held it's annual Industry Achievement Awards. I am on the WSA board and was one of the category judges at this years event. This was my third time as a judge and for an event that I have been attending since the 90's.
Two things struck me about the evening. One was that there was a palpable buzz around the Westin and in the ballroom. Some real excitement about the technology industry and the economy was present. I ran into a number of people starting companies, growing companies and generally feeling upbeat about the innovations that continue to arrive in the marketplace.
Secondly, it was great to run into Bill Kaufmann of http://www.imprintstore.com/ who was manning the http://www.tacomagoodwill.com/ table in the VIP reception area. Tacoma Goodwill's Online Sales was a one of three finalists in the category of "Best Use of Technology in the Government or Non-profit Sector".
As described in the program, "Tacoma Goodwill’s online ShopGoodwill.com service contributes increased resources for community jobs and job training, which helps people with disabilities and disadvantages go to work."
Though PTSO of Washington--Physician Practice Management and Electronic Medical Records--took the eventual honors, its second award of the night, it was great to see an organization such as Tacoma Goodwill among the eighteen companies who were celebrated for their innovation at the event.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The proprietary Index which expands on two earlier reports (1999 and 2002), uses 26 indicators from a variety of sources to rank each state on the extent to which their economies are structured and operate to effectively compete regionally as well as globally.
Washington State rated 84.6 ahead of California and behind Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland. Washington State's worst rankings were at positions 31 of the 50 states for both High-Wage Traded Services and Industry Investment in R&D. High-Wage Traded Services is the share of total employment in traded services (not consumed locally) in which the average wage is above the national median for traded services. Industry Investment in R&D measures the industry-performed research and development as a percentage of total worker earnings. Business provides almost 2/3rds of all R&D funding.
The TTC has provided networking for local firms and a focus for collective efforts in areas such as marketing, workforce development and access to venture capital for start-up firms. In 1999, the TTC hosted Washington’s Governor Gary Locke as he proclaimed eBusiness Day statewide, “starting in Tacoma”. In 2000, the consortium helped sponsor the first annual South Sound Technology (SST) conference, which added to the impetus to establish an Institute of Technology at the new University of Washington branch campus.
In 2001, TTC produced an annual census of technology firms that helped point the way to the City of Tacoma’s adoption of “America’s #1 Wired City” as a national marketing slogan.
Today, the TTC provides a vital focal point for the technology industry in the South Sound. Participant’s investment of time, money and energy are further leveraged through strategic partnerships such as:
- Alliance with the North West Entrepreneur’s Network to help emerging firms tap into regional sources of venture capital;
- Affiliation with the Technology Alliance as one of several local groups across the state;
- Affiliation with the WSA, the premier association for the software industry.
In a recent discussion paper for The Brookings Institution, researchers Paul Sommers & Deena Heg suggest that given “the importance of building bridges between New Economy and Old Economy companies; [the Tacoma Technology Consortium] may be headed down exactly the right path in this respect.” The consortium will continue to provide that bridging, and will also serve to broaden local business leaders’ awareness of emerging trends in areas such as nanotechnology, life sciences, and Cybersecurity.
Contact Gary Brackett or Paul Ellis at (253) 627-2175 for more information!