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Stronger TBED Efforts Would Benefit Orange County, Larta Asserts

September 27, 2002

True technology growth for Orange County hinges on a broader, more supportive infrastructure, argues the latest research report by the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance (Larta).

Raising the Curtain: The Technology Economy of Orange County examines the state of the region's health and stability, the obstacles that curtail its growth, and the strengths that will help move it forward as a leading economic and technology destination.

Backed by technology industries in electronics, computer hardware, bioscience, telecommunications and computer software, Orange County's diverse economy positions it "to be more stable and resilient than many other well known technology regions, such as Silicon Valley," the report states.

Industry clustering in Irvine, the mid-county area near Fullerton, and the South County area near Lake Forest and Aliso Viejo, according to the report, has allowed for greater networking opportunities and more efficient sharing of resources, "leading in turn to greater degrees of innovation and specialization." Orange County clustering efforts also have promoted the development of new technologies and research through partnerships involving the business community and local universities, the report observes.

Challenges exist, however. To maintain an ecosystem that supports its technology companies and the necessary work force, the report suggests Orange County must address issues of infrastructure — transportation and housing mainly — and a strained employment pool. Also, "the relative immaturity of venture capital and the potentially greater role of academia" need addressed, Larta asserts. Collaboration among businesses, government, and colleges and universities is required for the preservation of the county's technology-based economy, the report concludes.

Raising the Curtain: The Technology Economy of Orange County is available for purchase through http://www.larta.org/. An executive summary of the report is separately available for download at the website.