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Kansas Releases New Technology Cluster Assessment and Strategic Plan

June 02, 2000

Using a new, proprietary methodology, the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) has conducted a cluster assessment, determining KTEC should focus its commercialization efforts on those specific technology areas where opportunity is high and where the elements are in place to delivery those benefits to the state’s economy. The results, published in Kansas Strategic Technology Cluster Assessment and a Plan for the 21st Century, form a unique blend of cluster analysis, indicator assessment, and strategic planning.

The Opportunity-Capacity Model©, developed by KTEC in partnership with Topeka-based Acumen Strategies, Inc., was used to evaluate the contribution of four sets of partners toward Kansas’ economic and science and technology performance in each of the 27 technologies areas identified by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as “Critical Technologies” for U.S. economic prosperity and national security. The four sets of technology partners include the federal government, state government, private sector, and the state’s research universities.

The model has five components:

  • Eleven “Opportunity” indicators external to or beyond the control of the technology partners within Kansas that reflect or create trends in the larger marketplace or global economy. Most actions of the federal government fall within this category.
  • Eleven “Capacity” indicators are those that the state’s technology partners can control or influence and demonstrate the state’s ability to capitalize on the opportunities.
  • Weights for the capacity and opportunity indicators to reflect the relative value or importance of each indicator for evaluating the critical technologies. The weights selected were assigned along four factors and ranged from -1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) 
  • Performance scores were determined for each indicator to assess the evidence of high, low or no levels of opportunity or capacity. 
  • By adding the products of each indicator score and its assigned weights, KTEC determined net scores for the opportunity level and capacity level of each technology area. Net scores were then placed in an Opportunity-Capacity Matrix to identify those specific technologies holding the greatest potential opportunity and capacity for the state. Trends for each technology from 1995 to 2000 were plotted for each technology as well.

For further clarification, the first appendix of the report includes tables presenting each indicator, the assigned weights, rationale, and scoring system.

The report's discussion of the strategic technology cluster assessment precedes a strategic plan that outlines several recommendations within four selected technology areas: information technology, aviation, human biosciences, and agricultural biotechnology. Each section of the plan was prepared by a different lead research institution.

The assessment provided the basis for KTEC's $19 million supplemental annual budget request of the state legislature to support the recommendations of the strategic plan.

For more information or to download a copy of the 200+ page Kansas Strategic Technology Cluster Assessment and a Plan for the 21st Century, visit http://www.ktec.com