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Regional Roundup: Tech-based ED News from the West

February 02, 2001

There is so much happening in state and local tech-based economic development across the country that we’re adding a new Digest feature: the Regional Roundup. Our goal is to provide 1-2 sentence coverage of news stories, reports and resources demonstrating the variety of activities underway to build a stronger tech-based economy. Of course, whenever possible, we’ll include a link or contact for more information.

If you have news you think others in the field should know, add us Digest@ssti.org

to your media and newsletter distribution list.


The Alaska High-Tech Business Council <http://www.ahtbc.org> and IT Careers Consortium have released a draft comprehensive "IT Career Pathway Model" for developing Alaska's information tech workforce. The pathway is a blueprint for generating interest in IT careers and providing key competencies to students to ready them for a long-term career in the industry.


The Greater Flagstaff Economic Council <http://www.gfec.org> is opening a new technology incubator serve start-up tech businesses in northern Arizona. A $150,000 matching grant from the Arizona Department of Commerce will help the incubator open its doors this spring.


The Press Enterprise of Riverside, California reports the Loma Linda City Council voted unanimously to use $220,000 to help launch the Brown Center for Innovation– a technology learning center created by the George & Marta Brown Foundation. The center, with an estimated total cost of $25 million, is being created to honor the work of the late U.S. Rep. George E. Brown, Jr.

South Orange County Community College District has plans to convert a 70,000 sq. ft. helicopter hanger at the former Tustin Marine Base into the hub of a 100-acre Applied Technology & Education Park. With $3.5 million in state and federal grants and $10 million in industrial contributions, the hangar would become the Digital Innovation Center for the Arts, Science, and Technology, or DIE-CAST for short. 



A new regional technology council, the Convergence Corridor Grassroots Initiative <http://www.grassrootsinitiative.com>, has been launched to help turn Metro Denver into a high-tech hub. Organizers include the many area tech businesses, the Colorado State Office of Technology and Innovation, and Metro Denver Network, a coalition of local economic development organizations.


HB 175 and companion bill SB 648 include 11 new tax incentives to support high technology firms, research and development, and information technology investments. The bills have support from Governor Ben Cayetano. A summary of the proposed incentives can be found at http://www.hawaiiventures.com/HB175.html


The Council of State Governments awarded the State of Idaho its Eagle eGovernment Leadership Award, declaring http://www.accessidaho.org the best all-around state government website from a field of 200 applicants.


The first hearing has been held by the Montana House Taxation Committee on HB 244, which would create endowed research professorships in technology and biotechnology at the University of Montana-Missoula and Montana State University-Bozeman. The bill text says the goal is to provide long-term economic development through research and intellectual property development. See: 



A new technology incubator project for downtown Las Vegas has hit a snag, according to the 1/4/01 edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Missing a January 1 deadline for land purchase may jeopardize the heavily discounted sale price, which was tied to tax credits that expired with the end of 2000. The incubator is a project of the Las Vegas Downtown Redevelopment Group http://www.ci.las-vegas.nv.us/downtown.html

New Mexico

New Mexico State University is creating a Physical Sciences Institute with a strong ED and commercialization emphasis. The Board of Regents has given NMSU $250,000 for start up costs. See http://www.nmsu.edu/~ucomm/Releases/psi.html


The Oregon Internet Commission released its final report in December calling for the state "to make a substantial investment in education, aggressively promote the 

development of statewide essential broadband access, commit to first-class electronic government, and provide the necessary business and legal infrastructure . . . to ensure that electronic commerce can grow and prosper in Oregon." The report is available at http://www.econ.state.or.us/icom/index.htm

On a sad note, after 35 years, the Willamette Science & Technology Center <http://www.wistec.org>, a children’s museum for math, science, innovation and creativity is closing.


Governor Mike Leavitt has appointed several working task forces for the new Utah Silicon Valley Alliance, an unincorporated association designed to bring high tech jobs and venture capital investments to the state. Rod Linton, Director of the Utah Office of Technology Development, is serving as Executive Director of the new Alliance. More information is available at http://www.dced.state.ut.us/silicon/index.html


The Oregonian reports that the Columbia River Economic Development Council <http://www.credc.org> and the Washington Technology Center  <http://www.watechcenter.org> have signed a memorandum of understanding to  encourage southwest Washington businesses to pursue high tech projects. 


A $1 million donation to the University of Wyoming from Solomon Trujillo, former CEO of telecom giant U.S.West, will be used to endow the Trujillo Center for e.Business. Beginning in June the university will offer a Masters in Science in e-business, one of the first such programs in the nation, according to the university press office: http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/news/2001/january/uwnews24.htm