Title: The case of the San Francisco Bay Area: a regional success story in information technology and biotechnology commercialisation

Authors: Tapan Munroe, John Anguiano

Addresses: Munroe Consulting Inc, 1100 Moraga Way, Moraga, CA 94556, USA. Munroe Consulting Inc., 1100 Moraga Way, Moraga, CA 94556, USA

Abstract: This paper looks beyond the conventional notion of technology transfer where the parties involved are a government laboratory and a business firm or an entrepreneur. The paper examines the factors that make it possible for an economic region such as the San Francisco Bay Area to succeed in large scale technology commercialisation from various sources including government laboratories, universities, and corporate research and development efforts. The regions success factors include: the talent pool, pillar companies, supply of capital, university and R&D linkages to the economy, support services, and a good quality of life. The process of technology commercialisation is neither obvious nor very rapid. For a region to be a successful host to technology commercialisation it needs to have in place the infrastructure of technology commercialisation (ITC). Civic entrepreneurs are a key element of the ITC, in addition to the success factors for Silicon Valley listed above. A key lesson from the Silicon Valley experience is that technology commercialisation moves faster and with greater success when it is a part of broad-based economic development efforts. Finally, despite the apparent ||placelessness|| of Internet and information technologies, it is important to realise that location and place matter a great deal. It matters because knowledge workers value access to universities as well as K-12 education, cultural richness, civic virtue, choice in housing and transportation, diversity of employment opportunities, and a healthy environment. These are location specific attributes, and places that possess these attributes and work to enhance and maintain them are the best places for technology commercialisation. Therefore, such places tend to create more wealth and have well-developed economies.

Keywords: technology commercialisation; information technology; new economy; Silicon Valley; San Francisco Bay Area; quality of life; information technology infrastructure; civic entrepreneur; internet; economic development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2003.003171

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2003 Vol.2 No.3, pp.274-293

Published online: 13 Jul 2003 *

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