NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Universities Attract High-Tech Neighbors

October 11, 1999

Across the U.S., universities are becoming an increasingly powerful force in today's high-tech economy -- producing graduates who set up companies near campuses and attracting far-away firms intent on tapping into local talent.

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology boasts that by 1997 companies founded by its faculty and graduates had created 14,000 jobs at its Cambridge, Mass., location alone.
  • As of 1995, some 80 companies had been spun out of the University of California's San Diego campus -- providing more than 7,000 jobs to the region.
  • In fact, every one of the University of California's nine campuses has a high-tech cluster near it, say university officials.
  • Officials at Harvard University are contemplating "research parks and business incubators that would be very closely tied to parts of the university."

Experts say that the incentives for universities to think commercially are manifold -- from their share of licensing payments, to the jobs created for graduates, to industry grants for research and even the ability to recruit professors who want a chance to get rich outside the classroom.

Source: Carey Goldberg, "Across the U.S., Universities of Fueling High-Tech Booms," New York Times, October 8, 1999.


Browse more articles on Education Issues