Sunday, May 20, 2007

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's Economic Vision

It is vital that leaders have an economic vision. Here is such a vision articulated by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

What is the economic vision of your top leaders?

Oregon, the Innovation State

We live in a global economy. To compete and succeed in the world market, Oregon must focus on its strengths and cultivate its competitive advantages. The Pacific Northwest is recognized as a leader in fostering creativity—from competitive business practices to quality education and sustainable growth.

In order to succeed in the 21st century, Oregon must become a world leader for innovation: it must encourage innovative technology, innovative culture, innovative business, innovative marketing, innovative governance and innovative approaches to economic growth and development for all Oregonians. In short, Oregon must be known as "The Innovation State."


Oregon’s existing industries will stay healthy and competitive by improving existing products and developing leading-edge products and services.

Oregon will commercialize research and foster entrepreneurship to develop a new generation of industries and to diversify its economy.

Oregon will market its products and resources to the rest of the world and increase exports while bringing new investment, companies and jobs to our state.

Oregon will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful in an ever-changing economy.

Competing in a Global Economy

Oregon’s industries have the unique ability to rapidly turn ideas into products, systems and services that are differentiated, and thus competitive. Oregon businesses will stay competitive by being first to market with new ideas, adding value to their existing products, expanding high-value niche markets, increasing productivity and responsiveness to customers or increasing the knowledge and skills of its workforce to realize and generate further innovation.

Innovation isn’t just about research and development. Every worker is a potential source of the innovative ideas in order to develop new products, improve efficiency, and find out new ways of satisfying customers. The best businesses tap the talent and creativity of every worker to look for better ways to do everything, every day. For example, many Oregon firms are using innovative practices to become "high performance work organizations" that better tap worker skills and insights to increase productivity and responsiveness to customers.

Traded Sector Strength

In the past two decades, Oregon has moved from an economy chiefly based on forest products and agriculture to a balanced mix of technology-oriented and natural resource industries. Oregon’s economy is now supported by increases in international trade, in-migration, a high quality of life, and business diversification, with a multitude of large and small, traditional and emerging technology firms and traded-sector industries.

Innovation is more than just technology. Electronics and biotechnology may capture our imagination and the headlines, but innovation includes all the small and seemingly simple ways we make things better. It also includes figuring out new ways to reach the market and build customer satisfaction and loyalty. Whether it is the style of a new running shoe, the distinctive taste of an Oregon micro-brew or the organic appeal of Oregon country beef, new ideas move our economy forward.

Targeted Industry Cluster and Current Market Strengths

Oregon is a leader in engineered wood products, microtechnologies, semiconductors and display systems, advanced manufacturing, fabrication and infrastructure engineering, sports apparel, neurosciences, specialized food and nursery products, distribution and logistics, tourism and recreational vehicles including RV and fishing boats. To keep that edge, Oregon needs to maintain a solid research infrastructure for new product development, increase its start-up capital to help new discoveries reach the marketplace, and enhance the ability of businesses to quickly access and adopt productivity tools that sustain their competitiveness.

Read more about Oregon and its economic strategy here.

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