Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Universities Breed Tech Innovation

The ingredients for a thriving technology community are fairly straight forward.

--Smart and experienced entrepreneurs
--Well funded private equity and venture capital community
--Deep talent pool of engineers, developers, marketers and managers
--Research universities and not-for-profits

I’ve called the Washington, DC region home for my entire professional career. Our technology community is rock solid thanks to the presence of the federal government -- the world’s largest buyer of IT products and services. Yet, the region pales in comparison to the technology innovation in Silicon Valley and Boston.

Why? There are certainly cultural issues at work. (Hey, I’m the guy that actually showed up at the first day of the RSA Conference in San Francisco wearing a coat and tie.)

More important, the Washington, DC region has long struggled to find an educational institution to rival the innovation, talent and technology produced by Stanford and MIT.

That’s why yesterday’s news that Virginia Tech will invest more than $80M to build a 150-person research center in the region is so exciting. This is part of an initiative called Chesapeake Crescent in which five regionally-based universities plan to collaborate on research.

This region may never shed its dark suit and tie image. Yet, a stronger and more vibrant university network will serve as a breeding ground for technology companies with the potential for innovation and growth.

Virginia Tech to Build Ballston Research Hub
Washington Post

1 comment:

JRB said...

Thank you for the comments on the new Virginia Tech research facility. I did wish to clarify one point. The research facility and Tech's commitment to the Chesapeake Crescent initiative are not jointed in any manner. They represent two separate initiatives. The facility is not to be used for Crescent activities. Clearly, the advanced research to be undertaken in the facility will advantage Crescent goals, but they are distinctive activities.