Published January 18, 2005
Volume 13, Number 1

Technology in the Vineyard Event Launches New Economic Development Initiatives

On January 13, the Tri-Valley Business Council (TVBC), Tri-Valley Technology Enterprise Center (TTEC), and area business, education, and government leaders joined together to announce a series of economic development initiatives aimed at shaping the future of the region. Barry Sedlick, Undersecretary for Business, Transportation and Housing and senior advisor for Economic Development for the State of California, attended Technology in the Vineyard and spoke about the importance of the new initiatives to improving the state’s economy.

The groups’ efforts have come out of a May, 2004 “Economic Vitality Conversation” led by California Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, Sunne McPeak, which identified an overall goal for the region: “Foster economic base industries in which the region holds a competitive advantage, including bio- and nanotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, energy, homeland security, and medical technology.”

A number of actions have already been started to meet that goal. Tom O’Malley, president of the TVBC, announced that progress has been made towards completing a collaborative economic study which will paint a picture of the area’s existing business clusters and best practices, which includes a series of interviews with focus groups to help verify the study’s accuracy. Parts of this study will be released in February with the full report following in March. O’Malley also announced a new business leadership group that has formed to pursue what he called the “Preserving Prosperity Project.”

Education was also a primary topic. The TVBC and TTEC have been working with Las Positas College and UC Davis with a goal of expanding the educational and research capacities of the Tri-Valley. Las Positas has received a planning grant and is in the running for a multi-million dollar technology training grant, which would benefit students and local high-tech companies alike. Of potentially greater importance is UC Davis’ new interest in expanding their two-building Livermore campus into a full-blown research facility.

“Research universities are the key to getting technology started in a region, so it would be a big step if we could bring more research dollars into that campus and cause more professors to be there, more post-doctoral students, and more private industry to work with them on various technologies,” said Michael LaLumiere, executive director of TTEC.

Businesses that would like to get involved in these initiatives are encouraged to contact Tom O’Malley, president of the Tri-Valley Business Council, at (925) 890-1892. Additional information about the group is available at www.trivalley.org.


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