It is important to be a contributing member of the community. While Dr. Rottler said Sandia believes economic development should be part of the lab’s commitment, “how it gets funded and the terms and conditions around how that is created is a very sensitive issue because we don’t want it to end badly. We want it to be successful. So we want it to be incentivized in the right way.”

Dr. Wessner asked Mr. Epstein to assess the odds of congressional passage of the bills to promote science parks. Bills have floated around Congress in various forms since 2004, Mr. Esptein observed, before adding that “the climate for this is pretty good right now. It is just a question of the initiative of elected officials,” he said. Legislators are very concerned now about the recession and creating jobs. Federal labs should show them how many jobs science parks create, he said, and bills should be attached to a larger legislative package, “as long as they are not extravagant.”

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