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Case Studies for Best Practices Analysis: Metro Denver WIRED


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Title: Case Studies for Best Practices Analysis: Metro Denver WIRED

Case Studies for Best Practices AnalysisMetro
Denver WIRED
May 2007
Case Study Approach
  • Approach to the Regional Case Studies
  • Purpose The purpose of the regional
    benchmarking process is to identify innovation
    best practices from around the world and apply
    those that are relevant to the Metro Denver WIRED
  • Selection process New Economy Strategies
    identified Best Practices in other regional
    economies that apply to each of the four targeted
    industry clusters of the Metro Denver WIRED
  • Software / Information Technology
  • Austin
  • India
  • Energy
  • Houston
  • California (renewables)
  • Biosciences
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Aerospace
  • Los Angeles

Overview of Austins Information Technology
Challenger Region Austin, TX
  • Basic Statistics
  • Population 1.4 million in MSA
  • Total Business Establishments 34,818
  • Employment by Firm Dell gt6,000, IBM gt6,000, ATT
    gt2,000, National Instruments gt2,000, Freescale
    Semiconductor gt2,000, Cisco Systems gt 1,000,
    Samsung gt1,000, Intel gt1,000

Key Factors Global Recognition Wireless
Technology, Semiconductors, Electronics Digital
Media comprise a booming information technology
sector. Design capabilities have led to Austin
becoming a global leader for wireless computer
platform technology and the emergence in digital
media. The Wi-Fi Alliance is based in Austin. It
is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to
develop and then certify universal specifications
for a worldwide accepted standard for high-speed
wireless local area networking. Industry Base
Intel, ATDF, Microsoft, IBM, Northrop Grumman,
Samsung, Cisco Systems, Motorola, Qualcomm,
Freescale, Zilker Labs, Dell Workforce Young and
productive workforce 4 years younger than the
national median for Metropolitan areas. College
graduates make up over 40 percent of the adult
population compared to 27 percent nationally.
The University of Texas is one of the nations
largest universities, a world-class research
institution, and one of the largest sites of
graduate and undergraduate talent in technology
  • Economic Development Strategies / Programs
  • Capital
  • Silicon Hills Summit This conference links the
    venture and investment community with innovation
    in the semiconductor and software industry in
    Austin and throughout Central Texas.
  • Commercialization
  • IC2 Institute, the technology commercialization
    center at UT-Austin offers several programs for
    research and consulting on commercialization
    efforts including visiting scholars programs and
    a masters degree in Science Technology
    Commercialization .
  • Workforce Development
  • Skillpoint Alliance is a successful workforce
    intermediary linking business with educators and
    training programs in Austin increase qualified
    workers for local businesses
  • Nanolelectronic Workforce Development Initiative
    This is an internship programs for college
    students interested in software and
    nanotechnology. It is made possible through a
    partnership between ATDF, the nanoelectronics RD
    foundry, and the Austin Community College
    District. The program provides training to 160
    students at ATDFs leading facility through a
    grant funded by the State of Texas.
  • Infrastructure for Innovation
  • University of Texas-Austin Electrical Computer
    Engineering Department is a key driver of
    research with centers and labs focusing on
    several leading and convergent areas of software
    / computer development including graphic
    processing units, wireless, high speed storage
    devices, and semiconductors.
  • Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University
    of Texas-Austin supports one of the highest
    performing computing systems providing
    unprecedented computational power. A large
    number of cutting-edge research and development
    projects are supported by the Center.
  • Austin Technology Incubator provides turnkey
    infrastructure, consulting, finance referrals,
    and advice from business leaders for early-stage
    technology ventures. Its affiliation with the
    University of Texas leverages expertise from the
    academic community
  • SEMATECH was initially a government-industry
    partnership and best practice to minimize risk in
    the semiconductor industry but has transformed
    into a global research consortium for the
    industry that leverages the most sophisticated
    human capital from around the world.
  • Texas Wireless Summit is a leading trade show and
    technology showcase for the Wireless industry.

Austin Information Technology Continued
Challenger Region Austin, TX
Meeting the Regional Demand for Talent
UT-Austin is a significant supplier for Austins
Information Technology industries. As can be
seen in the chart, the more than 500 CIS
graduates per year have strong likelihood for
retention by the region. St. Edwards University
Austin Community College District also offer
programs to fill the demand for IT
workers. Degrees Awarded in Select Science
Fields, Austin Metro Area Institutions, 2005
(Source Greater Austin Chamber)
  • Best Practice Case Study
  • University-Industry RD Partnership
  • Wireless Networking and Communications Group
    (WNCG) is a center within the Electrical and
    Computer Engineering Dept. of The University of
    Texas at Austin. It currently has 14 ECE and
    computer science faculty. The program has
    generated over 8.9 M in research funds and
    averages over 80 graduate students per year.
    WNCGs budget comes from a combination of
    corporate sponsors, state and federal government
    funding, and subcontracts from other
    universities. The focus on corporate support
    reflects a commitment to collaborative research
    and to technology transfer enabling innovative
    ideas WNCG has developed to find their way to the
    market, and the work to have the highest possible
    impact on current and future technologies.
    Industrial Affiliates serve as a strong catalyst
    by bringing operational and technological
    experience, and by providing sponsorship,
    collaboration and leadership in leveraging WNCGs
    intellectual capital and resources. Industrial
    affiliates include ATT, Dell, Ericsson, Nortel,
    Samsung, Texas Instruments, and others.
    Intellectual property from research sponsored by
    one of the industry partners will be jointly
    owned by UT and the sponsor.
  • Benefits for Industry Affiliates
  • Early access to high-quality, well-trained
    students for internships and new hires
  • First view of research, reports, inventions, and
  • Business opportunities for joint research
  • Interactions and partnerships with other
    sponsoring companies

Overview of Indias Information Technology Cluster
Global Hub - India
  • Basic Statistics
  • Population 1.1 Billion (2005)
  • Unemployment Rate generously estimated to be
    between 8-10
  • Primary Business Locations Mumbai, Chennai,
    Bangalore, Delhi

Key Factors Global Recognition Over the last
decade India has developed a strong reputation as
a location for research and development and the
provision of services for western firms,
particularly in software development. Industry
Base Industry clusters displaying economic
growth in India include IT and Telecommunications
Workforce Large group of young, increasingly
skilled workers, many of whom are proficient in
English. Strong efforts are being made to
increase the skill sets, especially in
engineering and science held by the workforce.
Infrastructure for Innovation Since the
liberalization of the economy in the early 1990s,
India has developed its innovation capacity in
IT-software and consulting services. Efforts are
being made to link information technology to
other sectors of the economy, including
manufacturing and financial services for the
purposes of productivity and innovation. The
Indian Institutes of Technology is a network of
independent universities primarily focused on
engineering education and located in Bombay,
Madras, Guwahati, Delhi, Roorkee, Kangpur,
Kharagpur. The IITs were established between
1951 and 2001 with the express goal of
contributing to the social development of India
through technology. Extensive government
programs are directed by the Ministry of Science
Technology. Ministry of Information and
Communication Technology Emerging Areas and
Coordination Division The main objective of the
program is to enhance research competencies in
emerging areas of Information Technologies by
supporting research and development in the
country. This division also coordinates projects
and programs in the area of High performance and
Grid Computing, including the technical programs
of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing.
  • Example Economic Development Strategies /
  • The Science and Engineering Research Council
    (SERC) is the state body that promotes research
    development in India, housed within the Ministry
    of Science and Technology. It is composed of
    leading academic and industrial researchers,
    engineers and scientists. The SERC has developed
    several programs since its inception in 1974 that
    have been directed to increase the innovation
    capacity of the country.
  • Bioinformatics Initiative in the Department of
    Information Technology under the R D in
    Information Technology Group has been set up with
    the objectives of deepening India's potential as
    a global player in Bioinformatics by leveraging
    India 's IT advantage
  • Since 1991, Software Technology Parks India
    (STPI) has worked as a service provider that
    could be leveraged by software companies. It has
    assisted SMEs grow through consulting on the new
    business models in IT and supplying Internet
    infrastructure and facilities. A government run
    entity, STPI assists in establishing and managing
    infrastructure resources such as data
    communication facilities and core computer
    facilities. STPIs further mission is to promote
    the development and export of software services
    through technology assessments, market analyses,
    market segmentation and marketing support and to
    train professionals and to encourage design and
    development in the field of software technology
    and software engineering.
  • The Fund for Improvement of ST Infrastructure in
    Higher Educational Institutions (FIST) was
    launched in 2000 to provide better IT
    infrastructure for emerging industries.

India Information Technology Continued
Global Hub - India
Venture Capital India has developed a strong
venture capital community that has helped finance
much of the growth of the Information Technology
and Telecommunications Sectors. While the total
value of VC investment is hard to track, total VC
in India has grown from less than 20 million in
1996 to over 2 billion in 2004 and 2005.
  • Positioning of Indias Software Industries
  • India currently exports software to around 95
    countries around the globe
  • Of Fortune 500 companies, 220 outsource software
    operations from India
  • Software and services exports reached US 12.2
    billion in 2003-04 increasing by 30.5 from
    2002-03. India has an aggressive software export
    target of US 60 billion by 2008.
  • India's IT workforce is 650,000. This is
    projected to reach 2 million in the next ten
  • Custom application development and maintenance
    and applications outsourcing accounted for nearly
    88 of total software exports in 2003-04
  • Growing segments of the IT clusters are high-end
    services such as equity research support,
    insurance claims processing, offshore contact
    centers, and technology research and development
  • Best Practice Case Study
  • Information Technology Development
  • The IT industry in India primarily focuses on
    software and consulting services. This is often
    referred to as Information Technology Enabled
    Services- Business Process Outsourcing (ITES-BPO)
    This sector has experienced dramatic growth over
    the last decade. Market leaders such as Infosys
    Technologies and Satyam Computer Services each
    have revenue of over 1B USD and display
    quarterly revenue growth of over 25. While
    Infosys and Satyam are both listed on US
    exchanges, their competitors Tata Consultancies
    and Wipro Technologies are not publicly traded.
    It has been cited that over half of Fortune 500
    companies outsource some of their software from
    India. Despite this, the IT services sector in
    India is young and only has a workforce estimated
    to be one million.
  • The success of the Indian IT consulting sectors
    is attributed primarily to a few factors
  • A large pool of increasingly skilled
    English-Speaking workers
  • Low business and labor costs
  • A network of educational institutions that
    continue to develop a pipeline of engineers and
    computer scientists
  • Government policies supportive of the sector,
    including the launching of the Software
    Technology Park Scheme in 1991
  • Role played in Y2K readiness efforts

Sources IVCA, Evalueserve
Overview of Houstons Energy Cluster
Global Hub Houston, TX
  • Basic Statistics
  • Population 5.5 Million in metro
  • Firms 3,600 energy firms
  • Employment 28.4 of the nations jobs in oil and
    gas extraction
  • Production 4.1 million barrels of refined
    petroleum products produced per day

Key Factors Global Recognition Houston is known
as the Energy Capital of the World. The primary
business is oil gas exploration and production,
which contains all facets of pipeline
transportation and manufacturing to support the
industry. Offshore drilling technologies lead
the industrys research efforts, but the large
energy companies are also engaged in the research
and development of the emerging renewable energy
industry, including solar, wind, biomass, and
geothermal energy sources. Industry Base
Chevron, Shell, Marathon Oil Corporation,
ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, The Houston
Exploration Company, Dow Chemical, Houston
Biodiesel, Galveston Bay Biodiesel, American
Electric Power Workforce It is reported that 2
out of 5 Houstonians work in the energy industry
or a supportive sector to it. However, by the
end of the current decade, there will be a 38
percent shortage of engineers and geoscientists
and a 28 percent shortage of instrumentation and
electrical workers. Asked to name the biggest
skill gaps, executives of 22 leading energy
companies named petroleum engineering (77
percent), and geology, geophysics and engineering
analysis (73 percent each).
Example Economic Development Strategies /
Programs Energy Venture Forum at Rice University
introduces energy related technology companies to
VCs. Offshore Technology Conference is the
energy industrys premier conference focused on
deepwater offshore technology. Workforce Global
Energy Management Institute at the Bauer College
of Business at the University of Houston, The
Energy Business School, prepares the energy
industry manager of today while exploring
critical issues affecting the energy industrys
future. The Institute uses a multi-disciplinary
approach to address the comprehensive needs of
the energy industry, from risk and project
management to accounting and systems development.
 UH-GEMI boasts a world-recognized faculty of
scholars and industry executives who effectively
combine leading edge research and real-world
industry experience at the undergraduate,
graduate and executive levels.   Schlumberger
Corporation has a strong global corporate
recruitment programs for scientists and engineers
that economic developers could assist companies
in replicating. It is advantageous to remain
globally competitive for talent as a region.
Infrastructure for Innovation Rice
Universitys Energy Environmental Systems
Institute conducts research in convergent areas
of energy resources and the environment funded by
the Shell Oil Company. University of Houstons
Energy Research Allied Geophysics Lab is a
national resource dedicated toward developing new
technologies that provide higher resolution of
earth substructure for oil and gas exploration
and geothermal sources. The Lab has a research
consortia agreement with every major energy
company and DOE funding to develop and calibrate
3d imaging technology of subsurface structures.
Other research performed through consortia
agreements with the major energy companies has
produced the best technology for the industry for
drilling in deep off-shore waters of the Gulf of
Mexico. Chevron Technology Ventures is an
industrial laboratory and technology accelerator
for the development of both fossil and renewable
energy applications. Houston Technology Center is
Houstons largest technology incubator is
designed to offer assistance and guidance to new
upstart firms, including those in energy related
fields. Services include intensive mentoring and
access to angel capital, key business networks,
and service providers.
Houston Energy Continued
Global Hub Houston, TX
  • Alternative Energy Activity in Houston
  • Houstons energy sector has traditionally been
    tied directly to demand for crude oil which has
    caused radical booms and busts in the economy.
    Naturally numerous energy industry leaders have
    initiated efforts to capture the growing market
    of alternative energy.

The emergence of new alternative energy firms
like Galveston Bay Biodiesel has led to a
resurgence in venture capital investments in
Houstons energy sector. (Source Thomson
  • Best Practice Case Study
  • Regional STEM Initiative
  • The Houston Urban Network for Science,
    Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    (HUNSTEM) promotes a range of STEM programs from
    early childhood education to elementary school
    through secondary education. HUNSTEMs overall
    mission is to provide superior instruction for
    science and mathematics in mobilizing Houstons
    workforce of tomorrow with the types of skills
    and competencies needed for high-tech industries
    of the future. HUNSTEM is unique in its approach
    because it concentrates on community, not just
    providing STEM curricula, and because it fosters
    collaboration between all facets of the learning
    community rather that just acting as a liaison.
    Houston is a pioneer of this community-based
    movement and hopes to be a best practice for
    other regions in the country. HUNSTEM is
    partially funded through the Office of the
    Department of Defense Research Engineering
    division, but leverages resources from the
    University Houston system. This does not mention
    the great human resources linked through the
    initiative, which gives the program its greatest

Overview of Californias Renewable Energy Cluster
Challenger Region California
  • Basic Statistics
  • Population 36.4 million
  • Start-up Firms 45 in energy technology sectors
    reported from 2001 to 2005.
  • Primary Business Locations Sacramento, San
    Jose, Berkeley, Pasadena

Key Factors Global Recognition California has a
vibrant and experienced entrepreneurial
community, pro-active environmental public
policy, high quality university systems, the
presence of other successful high-tech companies
(with subsequent spin-outs and management
talent), availability of capital, and large local
markets for renewable energy products. Sample
Industry Base Silicon Valley Solar, Open Energy
Corp., PowerLight Corp., Sharp Solar, Pacific
Ethanol, Valence Technology, Inc., Akeena Solar,
Nanosolar, Energy Innovations, Inc. Workforce
The first hundred employees in most renewable
energy startups are likely to be primarily
engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists,
programmers, and designers. As this technology
develops, so will the demand for knowledge
workers. California has some of the largest
concentrations of knowledge workers in the
country around its numerous metropolitan areas.
Example Economic Development Strategies /
Programs Workforce Development Sonoma State
University Energy Management and Design Program
offers a curriculum that is a synthesis of
architecture, engineering, computer science, and
energy policy Capital The Green Wave Initiative
involves the two major California pension funds
(CalPERS and CalSTERS). In 2004, they combined
to allocated 450 million dollars to private
equity firms for investment in renewable energy
companies. Both funds are expected to have all of
this capital invested by the end of 2006. The
sheer magnitude of this commitment will provide a
significant boost to the renewable energy
sector. Technology Transfer Most technology at
national labs and universities are very
early-stage not yet prepared for the marketplace.
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs has developed a
strategy to allow new companies to form with LBNL
taking small equity stake in the company rather
than being paid at the outset. Regional Renewable
Energy Strategy Sacramento is coordinating a
Clean Energy Corridor by aligning public policy
and community organizing into an overall economic
development strategy through called the
Partnership for Prosperity in the six-county
region. This leverages growing RD at the UC
Davis Energy Efficiency Center and the support of
the McClellan Technology Incubator now focusing
on cleantech.
Infrastructure for Innovation Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (LBNL) has a number of
research divisions focused on renewable energy
including the Environmental Energy Technologies
Division, Nuclear Sciences Division, and National
Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.
Research is conducted on batteries, fuel cells,
cleaner combustion, carbon management and
environmental remediation. University of
CaliforniaBerkeleys Renewable and Appropriate
Energy Laboratory (RAEL) is a unique research,
development, and project implementation program
in the Universitys Energy Resources Group and
the Department of Nuclear Engineering. RAEL is
studying current energy infrastructure through
analysis of fossil fuel systems and biomass
energy and combination of energy efficiency and
renewable. UC Davis is a leader in promoting
public-private partnerships geared for renewable
energy research and development. They include
the Energy Efficiency Center, Institute for
Transportation Studies, Biomass Collaborative,
Wind Collaborative, and the California Lighting
Technology Center. Electric Power Research
Institute sponsors collaborative RD required to
achieve EPRI's science and technology objectives.
Current work focuses on dynamic, integrated
systems for permanent energy savings.
Collaborates with Stanford Universitys Energy
Efficiency Institute on new regulatory policies
and business models. Argonne National
Laboratorys transportation division is enhancing
propulsion technologies for plug-in and fuel cell
cars. The labs Chemical and Biological
Technology is researching ways to generate
natural gas by injecting methane-producting
microbes in coal mines in Montana.
California Renewable Energy Continued
Challenger Region California
  • Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
  • Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program,
    managed by the California Energy Commission,
    supports energy research and development through
    issuing up to 62 million dollars in awards
    annually. PIER partners with San Diego State
    University to issue awards to promising
    proof-of-concept energy research.
  • Renewable Resource Trust Fund is funded with 135
    million annually from the three California
    investor-owned utilities via a public goods
    surcharge on electricity use. This money is
    distributed through a cents-per-kilowatt-hour
    incentive to a variety of Existing, New, and
    Emerging renewable generation technologies
    including biomass waste tire wind geothermal
    small hydro digester gas landfill gas
    municipal solid waste PV and thermal solar fuel
    cells inverters and other qualifying
    technologies. The Fund also supports a consumer
    education campaign to inform the public about the
    benefits and available choices of renewable
    energy technologies.

Recent spikes in investments indicate that
renewable technologies have become more
market-ready in the past year. (Source Thomson
Best Practice Case Study The Impact of Public
Policy on Developing Renewable Energy
Industries Californias Renewable Portfolio
Standard (RPS) was passed into law in 2002
requiring the state's investor-owned utilities to
buy or produce 20 percent of their power from
renewable sources by 2010. The law requires
utilities to increase the renewable portion of
their portfolios by 1 annually until each
utility meets the 20 standard. There are goals
to expand this number to achieve 33 percent
renewable by 2020 for both investor-owned
utilities and municipal utilities. As of 2002,
12 of the electricity consumed in California
came from renewable sources. Solar Photovoltaic
Initiatives Both the California Energy
Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities
Commission (PUC) have offered buy down programs
that reimburse purchasers of solar systems for up
to 50 of their project cost. California also
offers a phased Solar Income Tax Credit (15 of
the capital investment for the first two years,
7.5 for the remaining two years) for residential
and commercial customers purchasing onsite PV
systems up to 200 KW in size. Finally,
net-metering credits reimburse solar system
owners for energy they produce but do not use.
Individual municipalities and utilities also
offer substantial rebates to customers installing
PV equipment. California Solar Initiative (CSI)
In January 2006 the California Public Utilities
Commission approved the California Solar
Initiative (CSI), committing 2.9 billion over
the next ten years to help homeowners,
businesses, farmers, and government install 3000
MW of new solar capacity on 1 million rooftops in
California. It is estimated that the initiative
will help dramatically lower the cost of solar
cells and create 15,000 jobs over the coming
Overview of Minneapolis-St. Pauls Biosciences
Challenger Region Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Basic Statistics
  • Population 3.1 million
  • Niche Areas Medical Devices and Equipment,
    Medical Instruments, Bioinformatics,

Key Factors Global Recognition in Medical
Devices Greater Minneapolis has the highest
concentration of employees working in medical
device manufacturing in the US, making the
industry cluster the most definable in the entire
state. Sample Industry Base Medtronic, 3M,
Boston Scientific, Guidant Corp., St. Jude
Medical, Inc. Research Diagnostic Systems,
Protein Design Labs, Viromed Laboratories First
to Market Products Regional companies and
research institutions have been first to develop
many important medical devices including
implantable cardiac pacemakers, artificial heart
valves, implantable drug transfusion pumps,
anesthesia monitors, and wireless cardiac
monitoring systems.
Example Economic Development Strategies /
Programs Workforce Development Biotechnology
Training Program brings together graduate
students and trainers from multiple disciplines
to conduct innovative research in biotechnology.
The program sponsors 16 top students each year
through a NIH grant. University of Minnesota
Center for the Development of Technological
Leadership offers coursework in intellectual
property management, corporate entrepreneurship,
and has strong interface with high-tech companies
in Minneapolis to prepare the technology managers
of the future in the region and state. UM
Microbial Engineering Masters Program provides
students with a combination of biological
knowledge with engineering skills. Students can
either choose a research or industry intensive
path serving as a turnkey solution for the modern
biotech industry. Commercialization University
Enterprise Laboratory is a collaborative research
center providing lab and office space and
commercialization assistance to early stage
bioscience companies. Regional Economic
Development Strategy Medical Alley is a 350 mile
long corridor that runs through the Twin Cities
and is home to over 8,000 healthcare companies.
Medical Alley is also a trade association with
over 350 member organizations. Its membership
includes medical device manufacturers, health
plans, bioscience and pharmaceutical firms,
academic and research organizations, and
healthcare service providers.
Infrastructure for Innovation University of
Minnesota has a strong concentration of
biomedical research through the U of M medical
school with areas of research excellence in
neuroscience, cardiovascular and pulmonary
research and care, emerging infectious diseases,
diabetes and cancer. U of M medical school also
has the nations first Stem Cell
Institute. Biomedical Engineering Institute
focuses on innovative endeavors that match
advanced technology with specific areas of
biomedical research. Advanced technology areas
include biomaterials, device design, drug
delivery, modeling, and nanotechnology. Minnesota
Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical
Genomics is a partnership between the University
of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the Mayo Clinic
located in nearby Rochester, Minnesota. The
partnership was founded on the basis of
collaborative multidisciplinary science. A major
target of the partnership is the growing area of
genomics research. The Partnership has attracted
state funding in the form of general obligation
bonds to the tune of 20 million for additional
innovative laboratory space for Partnership
research. The State of Minnesota has also
chipped in to assist in financing research
projects (3 million for first 4 projects), which
expect to yield major future returns in NIH
Minneapolis-St. Pauls Biosciences Continued
Challenger Region Minneapolis-St. Paul
Commercialization of Intellectual Property The
region has strong advantages from the transfer of
technology from the University of Minnesota.
Successful companies formed out of University
intellectual property include Medtronic,
Rosemount (Emerson), and St. Jude Medical, Inc.
UM ranked fifth nationally in the royalty stream
from technology transfer according to AUTMs 2003
Nearly forty percent of VC investments over the
recent 10 year period have been in Medical/Health
or Biotechnology. (Source Thomson Financial)
Best Practice Case Study Successful Intellectual
Property, Tech Transfer, and Commercialization
Strategies at the University of Minnesota With
dwindling federal expenditures for research,
universities are dependent on revenue streams
from the commercialization of intellectual
property to support the research mission. The
mission of UMs Office of Business Development is
to increase the number of successful start-up
companies founded from university research. In
continuing to support commercialization through
nurturing new projects and forming capital around
them, five major Innovations in technology
commercialization have been implemented at the
University of Minnesota. Technology Transfer
Liaisons Liaisons assist university faculty with
technology transfer by identifying opportunities
for commercialization in the university as well
as assisting and educating faculty about the
commercialization process. Multiple
Entrepreneur Advisory Boards Made up of UM
faculty and external advisors, the Advisory
Boards assess business and market potential for
start-ups. They also oversee the distribution of
Innovation grants and Ignition Funds. Innovation
Grants Ignition Funds Innovation grants are
RD grants provided to university innovators to
help move technology closer to the patenting and
licensing stage. Ignition investments are made to
UMs early stage start-up companies to help
enable a successful launch out of the
university. Licensing Center This is an
externally focused component of the
commercialization process that actively seeks
commercial partners to license technologies with
high potential. Venture Center The Venture
Center collaborates with early stage venture
capital investors, business founders, and
university innovators to identify, launch, and
fund university start-ups. It plays a critical
role in structuring and negotiating the terms of
funding and monitoring the start-ups until a
liquidity event such as an Initial Public
Offering or the sale of the company to a larger
Overview of Los Angeles Aerospace Cluster
Leading Region Los Angeles, CA
  • Basic Statistics
  • Population13.1 million (L.A.-Long Beach-Santa
    Ana MSA)
  • Primary Business Locations El Segundo/ Redondo
    Beach/ LAX area, Long Beach, Pasadena, Palmdale
    Edwards Air Force Base

Key Factors Global Recognition Los Angeles has
been the undisputed capital of aerospace
industrial design, and has been largely driven by
federal military and aerospace contracts. It is
involved in many major aerospace projects
including Joint Tactical Radio Systems, Gold Hawk
UAV, and a missile defense system. Sample
Industry Base Boeing (Space Systems), Northrop
Grumman (headquarters in L.A. and Integrated
Systems facility in El Segundo), Lockheed Martin
Aeronautics (hosts Advanced Development
Program/Skunk Works), Honeywell Aerospace
(Advanced Technology plant). Workforce Los
Angles is the largest manufacturing center in the
U.S, with nearly 470,000 employed in Los Angeles
county alone. 41,500 people are employed in
aerospace and an additional 59,200 in computer
and electronic part manufacturing. The region
also contains a strong higher education network.
There are 198 college and university campuses in
the area, ranging from universities to
specialized training institutions.
Example Economic Development Strategies /
Programs Workforce Development Aerospace
Education Research Operations (AERO) Institute
is a consortium of governments, local companies,
and non-profits to produce the aerospace
technical workforce of the future. It
collaborates with university partners to provide
technical, undergraduate, and graduate education.
It also facilitates joint research and operation
programs and promotes industry partnerships.
Antelope Valley College provides training for
the future of the aerospace industry including
CAD/CAM operators, programmers, composite
material engineers, operating technicians,
California Space Grant Foundation facilitates
and manages learning opportunities for K-12,
college, and continuing education students. This
includes a mentor program for students and
research professionals as well as numerous
scholarship and fellowship opportunities for
Aerospace field work. Loyola Marymount
Universitys Systems Engineering Graduate Program
is a strong feeder program for Northrop Grumman.
It also participates in a partnership program
with BAE Systems, allowing employees at BAE to
apply courses from their in-house training toward
a Masters in Systems Engineering. Graduate
Aeronautical Laboratories (California Institute
of Technology) offers graduate programs for
Aeronautics and Aerospace Engineering. The
program provides access to leading experimental
facilities and it maintains close ties with
industry and government.
Infrastructure for Innovation Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of
Technology was established in the 1930s and was
the creator of Americas first satellite,
Explorer 1, and the first robotic craft sent to
the moon. As the manager of NASAs Deep Space
Network, JPL designed, developed, and maintained
spacecrafts and instruments that have visited all
known planets with the exception of
Pluto. University of CaliforniaLos Angeles
Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems
Laboratory is involved in a variety of research
projects such as the development of
high-confidence software for aerospace-embedded
systems. It is supported by a strong Aerospace
Engineering program at the university. Lockheed
Martin Advanced Development Program (Skunk
Works) is a leading research and development
unit for the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
division. Located in Palmdale, CA. it is
responsible for a number of famous aircraft
designs including the F-104 Starfighter, the U-2
Reconnaissance Aircraft (the highest flying
single engine aircraft), and the worlds first
operational stealth fighter, the F-117
Nighthawk. Hughes Research Laboratories is a
renowned contract research organization that
drives aerospace innovation in the Los Angeles
area. Technology areas include electronics,
information systems sciences, materials,
sensors, and photonics. Applications
include satellites and fighter jets, enable
radars, provide communication protocols, and
support the vehicles and systems of the future.
Los Angeles Aerospace Continued
Leading Region Los Angeles, CA
Technology Transfer NASA Commercialization
Center (NCC) assists emerging companies in
commercializing NASA technology. Run by
AccelTech, the NCC provides personal assistance
with technology road mapping, workshops on
intellectual property and operating space for
product development. AccelTech also facilitates
partnerships between start-ups at the NCC and Cal
Poly Pomona researchers. Regional
Strategy California Space Authority is a
nonprofit corporation that represents the
commercial, civil, and national defense/homeland
security interests of Californias diverse
Aerospace community, which includes government,
industry, academia, and workforce. CSA has
launched a variety of programs in conjunction
with the 2004 California Space Enterprise
Strategic Program including programs to support
Aerospace-related infrastructure and
manufacturing as well as initiatives supporting
research, technology development and innovation.

Venture Capital in Los Angeles, 1997-2006
During this ten year period, over 12 billion in
venture capital was invested in Los Angeles.
Other than sectors pertaining to the areas media
industry, several Aerospace-related sectors had
strong representation including
Semiconductors/Other Electrical Equipment,
Computer Software, and Industrial.
  • Best Practice Case Study
  • Use of a strong RD framework supported by a
    multitude of education and training programs
  • RD Los Angeles has a diverse spread of RD
    activity across industry, universities, and
    research institutions. Industry leaders
    conducting RD in the region include Lockheed
    Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing. Top
    universities in aerospace-related research
    include the California Institute of Technology,
    UCLA, and California State Polytechnic
    University. The abundance of research
    institutions include university-affiliated
    institutions such as the Jet Propulsion
    Laboratory as well as government-affiliated
    research institutions such as NASAs Dryden
    Flight Research Center.
  • Government and Military Support Los Angeles also
    has two military installations with major
    research facilities. The Edwards Air Force Base
    is a research and manufacturing facility that
    specializes in military aircraft and airborne
    weaponry and works closely with government
    contractors located in the area such as Boeing,
    Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The Los
    Angeles Air Force Base is home to the Space and
    Missile Systems Center, the Air Forces premier
    space acquisition center.
  • Education and Training There is a variety of
    strong aerospace engineering programs throughout
    the region that provide undergraduate, graduate,
    and continuing education opportunities. In
    addition, technical education in aerospace and
    aviation is offered at many colleges. Programs
    range from more general programs such as the Mt.
    San Antonio Colleges associates degree in
    Commercial Flight and Aviation Science to
    specific certification program such as the
    Airframe and Power plant Technician program at
    the Westwood College of Aviation Technology.