one of your strengths is that you understand the need for cooperation. No one organization can do everything that needs to be done. You need to be able to leverage strengths and partner with each other.”
Mr. Berglund began by introducing the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI), a 15-year-old national nonprofit organization based in Columbus. With 180 members, including state programs, local programs, and universities, SSTI’s mission is to “improve government-industry programs that encourage economic growth through the application of science and technology.” Its founding funders include the Carnegie Corporation, Kauffman Foundation, and Manufacturing Extension Program, with additional support from the Economic Development Administration.
Mr. Berglund said that SSTI believes that there are seven elements required for a vibrant technology-based economy. These include “a good intellectual infrastructure, spillovers of knowledge from universities and networks, a strong physical infrastructure, a technically skilled workforce, sources of capital, a rich entrepreneurial culture, and a desirable quality of life.” The last two assets, he said, are the most difficult to measure. He offered one definition of an entrepreneurial culture: “If you gather all your family and friends in a room and tell them you’re quitting your job to start a company, and if they all applaud, you’re in an entrepreneurial culture.” Good quality of life, he said, “is in eye of beholder.”
Research Parks: Necessary, But Not Sufficient
Why should states spend so much effort building up these seven elements? Mr. Berglund asked. He told the story of going to Kentucky 10 years ago to help the state start its S&T strategic planning process. When he asked state officials what motivated them to act, they pointed to the success of nearby North Carolina in founding Research Triangle Park. They had seen that in 1955, the year before the founding of RTP, both states were poor, with virtually identical per capita incomes at 66 percent of the national level. By 2000, however, North Carolina had moved far ahead of Kentucky, which did not have a research park.
Mr. Berglund said that he later went back to look at the statistics himself, and drew out the chart showing sharply diverging income levels and North Carolina’s relative improvement. “I saw three messages in that chart,” he recalled. “The first was the same one they had seen in Kentucky, that North Carolina had moved far ahead. But the second message was that it took 30 years