Saturday, May 26, 2007


Strategic Issue for ED Leaders: Public Infrastructure

PUBLIC WORKS Magazine conducts three influential research surveys every year: Water & Wastewater Utility, State Engineering & Highway and the City/County Survey. These surveys provide insight into the products and services that public works professionals-from all levels of municipal, county and state government-will specify in the coming year.

For the asking, you can get their research in these three areas. This is useful information on what are the leading public infrastructure issues facing areas.

Here is the link to contact PUBLIC WORKS.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Strategic Issue for ED Leaders: Technology 2020 Trends

Technology experts at Battelle think they have 2020 vision. They don't mean perfect eyesight today. They're talking about the ability to see the world of 2020. ED leaders must have a vision of where driving technologies are headed in the future. Here is a place to start.

Battelle's list of the Top Ten strategic technologies for 2020:

1. Genetic-based Medical and Health Care. Over the next 20 years, we will witness an explosion of medical technology originating from genetic research, giving us the ability to detect and correct many genetic-based diseases before they arise-possibly even in the womb.

A wide range of new pharmaceuticals that originated from genetic research will come onto the market in the next 20 years, leading to treatments, cures, and preventive measures for a host of ailments. They may range from treatments for life-threatening diseases to psychological disorders to cosmetic problems.

Most incredible, some of these treatments will be personalized to meet the unique needs of an individual's genetic makeup.

"Your doctor might have a record of your genetic makeup," says Eric Majewski of Medical Products, "and he or she might be able to prescribe medications, diets, or other treatments to fit your own particular needs. It will really be the ultimate in individualized care."

Battelle forecasters say genetic research also will lead to cloned human organs within 20 years. These organs will be grown and used in transplants. Top

2. High-power energy packages. Developments such as highly advanced batteries, inexpensive fuel cells, and micro-generators of electricity will make many of our electronic products and appliances highly mobile. Decentralized power sources will be extensive, affordable, and environmentally clean.

These new, high-power, distributed energy systems will provide backup if not primary energy sources for appliances, homes, and vehicles. In the transition to fuel cells, we will see further improvements in batteries-perhaps linked with solar power-and small generators fueled by natural gas. Top

3. GrinTech (Green Integrated Technology). Global crowding, fears of global climate change, and mountains of garbage will thrust environmental concerns to the forefront of consumers and industry around the world. Technology will provide the answers, with new systems that eliminate rather than reduce waste.

"The integration of a variety of technologies is the key here," says Gerry Stokes, Associate Director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "We'll be using advanced sensors, new materials, computer systems, energy systems, and manufacturing technologies to eliminate waste and make our products completely recyclable." GrinTech will be especially important in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and transportation systems. Top

4. Omnipresent Computing. Computers will be everywhere. We will be in constant contact with very miniature, wireless, highly mobile, powerful, and highly personalized computing with network access. Such computers may first appear on the market as watches or jewelry with the power of a computer and cellular phone. Later, we will have computers embedded in our clothing and possibly implanted under our skin. Top

5. Nanomachines. Microscopic machines, measured in atoms rather than millimeters, will revolutionize several industries and may perform a wide range of jobs for us-from heating our homes to curing cancer.

Battelle researchers see the medical industry as the most important area for nanomachine technology by 2020. "We may be able to develop nanomachines that will go into your body and find and destroy individual cancer cells while not harming healthy cells," says Battelle Senior Research Scientist Kevin Priddy. Nanomachines also could be used to deliver drugs to highly localized places in the body, to clean arteries, and to repair the heart, brain, and other organs without surgery. Top

6. Personalized Public Transportation. The continuing growth of cities will further stress our transportation infrastructure. Yet, Battelle researchers say an aging population with concerns about safety, convenience, and independence will help maintain a high demand for personal vehicles. The challenge is to integrate many individual cars within a coordinated and optimized public transportation network. "Realistically, public transportation systems like trains and subways are the most efficient way to move people around in a dense urban setting," says Millett. "But many of us don't want to give up our cars. So, technology will help us turn our cars into what will almost be personalized public transportation."

New information technology in your car will work with a central traffic control system to guide you through the quickest route to your destination. Traffic jams and road rage will decline substantially as people drive their cars to remote parking areas and take highly advanced-and comfortable-trains into central cities and between cities. Top

7. Designer Foods and Crops. Grocery store shelves will be filled with genetically engineered foods that are environmentally friendly and highly nutritious. Through genetic engineering, researchers will develop crops that resist diseases and pests, greatly reducing the need for pesticides and other chemicals. Battelle predicts that most food sold in supermarkets will come from genetically engineered fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Nearly all cotton and wool for our clothing will be genetically engineered.

Even lawns could be genetically engineered to need less fertilizer and pesticide and-best yet-grow more slowly. Top

8. Intelligent Goods and Appliances. Advances in quantum computing will lead to smaller, more powerful computers and electronics that will add amazing intelligence to appliances and other products. These products will likely include telephones with extensive phone directories, intelligent food packaging that tells your oven how to cook the food inside, refrigerators that help make out your shopping list and tell you where to get the best price on the food you need, and maybe even a toaster that won't burn your toast.

9. Worldwide Inexpensive and Safe Water. Within the next 20 years, clean drinking water could become an expensive commodity around the world. However, before water shortages become critical, technology will answer the challenge, with advanced filtering, processing, and delivery of potable water. Desalination of water and water extraction from the air are two possibilities.

"Our most important technological challenge of the next two decades may be developing new ways to make clean water plentiful and inexpensive around the world," Kopp says. Top

10. Super Senses. One of the hot technologies today is virtual reality. In 20 years, though, we will be marveling over "enhanced reality." Using sensors and electronic or genetic technology, we will be able to implant devices that will allow us to hear better than ever before or see farther or in the dark. Gerry Stokes says the technology will first be used to enhance hearing. "Baby boomers have lived in a very noisy world-with rock music, airplanes, construction equipment, lawn mowers, and other assaults to their hearing. And as they age, we'll see a rash of hearing problems," Stokes says. "We'll be able to repair that damage, but why stop there? Why not make their hearing better than it's ever been?"

Learn more here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Strategic Issue for ED Leaders: Energy Futures

The future of energy affects all local economies in the US and abroad. ED leaders need to be informed about options in thinking about the energy industry. Here is a resource that might help.

The Energy Future Coalition (EFC) is a broad-based, nonpartisan alliance that seeks to bridge the differences among business, labor, and environmental groups and identify energy policy options with broad political support. The coalition aims to bring about changes in U.S. energy policy to address the economic, security and environmental challenges related to the production and use of fossil fuels with a compelling new vision of the economic opportunities that will be created by the transition to a new energy economy.

EFC's six working groups are the heart of our coalition-building process and are dedicated to identifying the steps needed for change in their respective issue areas.

The Energy Future Coalition is an ambitious, visionary effort by business, labor, and environmental groups to bridge their differences and identify broadly supported energy policy options that address three great challenges related to the production and use of energy:

- The political and economic threat posed by the world's dependence on oil.
- The risk to the global environment from climate change.
- The lack of access of the world's poor to the modern energy services they need for economic advancement.
- The Coalition seeks to connect those challenges with a vision of the vibrant economic opportunities that will be created by a transition to a new energy economy.

Read EFC's very information report Challenge and Opportunity: Charting a New Energy Future.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Leader to Leader Influence

Leadership is about relationships and influence, and leader to leader influence is the most powerful leadership strategy I know of.

Question: Is your economic development organization using its leaders to influence other leaders in key industries and clusters where your area hopes to compete? Hopefully so.

Is biotechnology/bioscience a target industry or cluster for your area? If so, your organization should be positioning itself with the leaders of this industry to build your reputation as an attractive place for bio-related development to occur.

And yes, the same leader to leader influence strategy can be used with any industry or technology area.

Here is a list of the people serving on the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). How can you use your area leaders to make in-roads with these bio leaders? (And yes, there are others beyong the BIO Board.) Perhaps some of your local leaders serve on BIO's board of directors. Work on a leader to leader influence strategy to capitalize on opportunities in this important and exciting sector. One word to bear in mind as you craft your strategy: Diplomacy!

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Board of Directors

Vice Chair, Food & Agriculture and Secretary
Andrew Baum
President & CEO
SemBioSys Genetics, Inc.

Chair: Joshua Boger, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Catherine M. Bonuccelli, M.D.
Vice President, External Scientific Affairs
AstraZeneca, Inc.

Robert B. Chess
Nektar Therapeutics, Inc.

Geoffrey F. Cox, Ph.D.
Chairman, President & CEO
GTC Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D.
President, Product Development
Genentech, Inc.

Douglas A. Doerfler
President & CEO
MaxCyte, Inc.

Deborah Dunsire, M.D.
Millennium Pharmaceuticals

Reiner Emrich
Executive Vice President
BASF Plant Science Holding, Inc.

Elliot Entis
President & CEO
Aqua Bounty Technologies

Fabrice Egros, Ph.D.
President & CEO
UCB, Inc.

Dennis M. Fenton, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
Amgen, Inc.

Fereydoun Firouz
EMD Serono, Inc.

Colin A. Goddard, Ph.D.
OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Neal Gutterson
President & CEO
Mendel Biotechnology

David F. Hale
Micromet, Inc.

Steven H. Holtzman
Chairman & CEO
Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Jeffrey Kindler
Chairman & CEO
Pfizer, Inc.

Rachel K. King
GlycoMimetics, Inc.

Thomas P. Koestler, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
Schering Plough

Louis G. Lange, M.D., Ph.D.
Chairman & CEO
CV Therapeutics, Inc.

John M. Leonard, M.D.
Vice President, Global Medical & Scientific Affairs
Abbott Laboratories, Inc.

Gregory T. Lucier
Chairman & CEO
Invitrogen Corporation

John M. Maraganore, Ph.D.
President, Director & CEO
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Russell M. Medford, M.D., Ph.D.
President, CEO & Scientific Co-founder
AtheroGenics, Inc.

Arlene M. Morris
President & CEO
Affymax, Inc.

David M. Mott
Vice Chairman, President & CEO
MedImmune, Inc.

Immediate Past Chair
James C. Mullen
President & CEO
Biogen Idec, Inc.

Thomas Nagy
President & CEO
Novozymes North America, Inc.

Thomas B. Okarma, M.D., Ph.D.
President, Director & CEO
Geron Corporation

H. Stewart Parker
President & CEO
Targeted Genetics Corporation

Robert Parkinson
Chairman, President & CEO
Baxter International

Steven M. Paul, M.D.
Executive Vice President, Science & Technology
Eli Lilly & Company

Richard F. Pops
Alkermes, Inc.

David E. I. Pyott
Chairman & CEO
Allergan, Inc.

Hollings C. Renton
Chairman, President & CEO
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Robert R. Ruffolo Jr., Ph.D.
President, Research & Development
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Una S. Ryan, Ph.D.
President & CEO
AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc.

Mitchel Sayare, Ph.D.
Chairman, President & CEO
ImmunoGen, Inc.

Mark W. Schwartz, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Bayhill Therapeutics, Inc.

Vice Chair, Healthcare
Joseph C. Scodari
Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Group
Johnson & Johnson

Alan Shaw, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Codexis, Inc.

Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D.
Chairman & CEOCell
Genesys, Inc.

Feike Sijbesma
Member, Managing Board of Directors

Mark Skaletsky
Chairman, President & CEO
Trine Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Martin Soeters
US Novo Nordisk

Henri A. Termeer
Chairman, President & CEO
Genzyme Corporation

Harold E. Van Wart, Ph.D.
President, Director & CEO
Metabolex, Inc.

David J. Williams
President & CEO
sanofi pasteur

Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Patrick County, Virginia: Education is Vital to Economic Development

Here is a statement by former Virginia Governor Gerald L. Baliles, who is the Chairman of the Patrick County Education Foundation. It speaks to the critical role of education in stimulating economic development.

"There was a time when Patrick County and many areas like it in rural Virginia thrived as agricultural and manufacturing communities. Tobacco, timber and textiles were our economy's mainstays. People lived off the land--by the sweat of the brow, the flexing of the muscle. The low-tech, labor-intensive industries of the "old" economy have provided a reliable, stable source of jobs and decent wages for many generations of Patrick County citizens. Physical labor has been the capital required for success while education, though "nice to have", has simply not been a necessity. In this environment, education became a low priority as both a work force and economic issue.

Today, it is clear that times have changed. The doors of our generations-old businesses and industries are now closed and locked, the lights turned off and most of the jobs have been lost to technological replacements or shipped off to places where labor is cheaper. In just a few short years, our region's richest resource, physical labor, has lost value and the economy, businesses and jobs it fueled are gone. In their place is the vastly different face of a rapidly transforming "new" economy fueled by the power of the mind, by information, knowledge, and education. In today's economy, knowledge is the new capital and education is now a critical necessity.

The impact of these changes on Patrick County has been profound. Not only are the reliable industries and jobs of our past gone, but we find that we are woefully unprepared for the demands of the new opportunities that will replace them. Because of inadequate attention to education, Patrick County ranks near the bottom of Virginia's rural counties in critical work force education and readiness measures--the percentage of high school students who go to college, the percentage of adults over age 21 who have a high school education, and the presence of effective, functioning work force training initiatives. In 2001, only 30% of the county's high school seniors took the SAT, 43% of adults over age 21 did not have a high school education and our county's workforce training programs were loosely organized and falling behind in meeting the demands of the new economy.

For those of us who love this beautiful rural mountain community, this realization is sobering. If we are to successfully bring new businesses, jobs and economic opportunities to our area and if we are to participate fully in this new knowledge-driven economy, we must rapidly shift our focus to education. Businesses of the new economy are looking for an educated, skilled work force--education is the key to economic growth. To succeed, we in Patrick County must change our culture to assure that education is seen for what it is...the key to the future. Raising the education attainment level of all our citizens must become our highest priority.

This is the challenge that the Patrick County Education Foundation has set out for itself and for our community. Our Foundation Board and staff are made up of people who care about the future of Patrick County and who are committed to bringing about the changes needed to assure our citizens of a bright future and full participation in this new economy. But for this to happen, we must act now. Our mission is to move Patrick County from its place near the bottom to among the top five rural Virginia counties within ten years in the percentage of high school students who attend college, the percentage of citizens with a high school education and the implementation of a working and effective program of work force initiatives.

Our mission is an aggressive one, yet having now reached the midpoint of our ten-year mission, we can already point to significant progress. Each of the Foundation’s three initiatives - College Access, GED Promotion and Work Force Training - are fully operational and returning good results. One especially notable achievement has been realized in our GED Promotion Project. Patrick County rose to second among 45 rural Virginia counties in the number of GEDs awarded per 1,000 residents during 2005. When the Foundation began, Patrick County was ranked 43rd. We are continually seeking ways to raise education and job-training levels of the County's adult population. Each year, the Foundation has launched new work force training programs and increased efforts to recruit even more adults into the County's GED program.

But this is just the beginning. There is much work yet to be done. The key to success will be the small but important steps that individual Patrick County citizens take--to complete their own high school education, pursue post-secondary education, participate in new work force training initiatives and encourage and support others to do the same. Through successful negotiation of these small steps, Patrick County will begin to attract the information-driven businesses and jobs that will help us build a bright future for all our citizens for many years to come."

Are your leaders doing what it takes to ensure that education is at the heart of your economic development strategy? Hopefully they are!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Universities Should Add Economic Development to Their Vision Statements

For some time, I have believed that colleges and universities should directly address their role in economic development, and they should recognize this role in their organizational mission and vision statements.

Here is an example of how one university, Cleveland State University (CSU), where I worked for nearly 15 years as director of the Economic Development Center, reflects economic development in its vision statement.

This statement was issued by CSU President Michael Schwartz (in photo to left). In my mind, this is a statement of leadership when an academic institution formally acknowledges its role in economic development.

"We will be recognized as a student-focused center of scholarly excellence that provides an accessible and exceptional education to all. We will be a place of opportunity for those who seek truth, strive toward excellence and seek a better life for themselves and for their fellow citizens. As a leader in innovative collaboration — both internally and externally — with business, industry, government, educational institutions and the community, the University will be a critical force in the region's economic development. We will be at the forefront of moral, ethical, social, artistic and economic leadership for the future and embrace the vitality that comes with risk. We will be the strongest public university in the region and be known for our scholarship in service to students and to our community."

If your local college or university has not taken the step to add economic development to its vision and mission statement, perhaps you should urge academic officials to do so.

Read more here about Cleveland State University.

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.