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Tennessee Unveils New Economy Strategy

February 15, 2002

Earlier this week, Governor Don Sundquist and the Tennessee Technology Development Corp. (TTDC) released the New Economy Strategy, a broad plan to improve the state's economic viability through science and technology. The strategy encompasses many new initiatives to complement TTDC's existing portfolio of tech-based economic development efforts.

Using six focus groups across the state, the planning process drew input from more than 175 people involved in research, economic development, science, and technology.

Specific recommendations are organized to address five objectives:

  • Build an Entrepreneurial Culture in Tennessee — calls for entrepreneurial education, angel investment networks, angel investment tax credit, increased venture capital investment, and continuing the annual venture capital forum.
  • Turn Ideas into More Tennessee Companies and Higher-Quality Jobs — streamline the university and lab tech transfer practices; increase tech licenses granted by universities and federal labs; develop more tech incubators and networking; pursue more SBIR awards; and provide matching funds for university-industry and federal R&D, tech firm recruitment and expansion.
  • Create a Strong Tennessee Talent Pool — offer college scholarship assistance, talent marketing campaign, and tech career fairs.
  • Connect People with Technology Opportunities — support regional tech councils; support local tech initiatives; develop a statewide tech resource inventory; continue tech image marketing campaign for the state; broaden tax credits for tech industry inclusion; and create a tech CEO roundtable.
  • Establish a Special Focus on Life Sciences — nurture a state biotech association, regional life science councils and incubators, increase lab space availability, and train a larger life science workforce.

Governor Sundquist's FY 2003 budget request includes $5 million for TTDC to begin implementing the plan.

More information is available at: http://www.tennesseetechnology.org/