“Creating Tech Valley”
Paper Assignment
GOV 331


Governor-elect Spitzer has just heard that “cluster policy” is the best way to make the Albany based Tech Valley the next Silicon Valley. He vaguely understands that regional and local economic clusters are becoming more rather than less important in an era of economic globalization and that these changes require new roles for public and private decision makers. Unfortunately, he has no understanding of what clusters are, how they operate, or what sorts of policies they require other than he has heard that clusters, incubators and research parks are all good ideas. He would like you, as his chief economic development policy analyst, to write a concise critical assessment of cluster based economic development policies based upon your understanding of the guest speakers and articles we have read. Your policy memo should include the following:

Theory (1 ½ - 2 pages)
1. What are clusters and why are they important?
2. What are the key lessons to be learned from the economic success of Silicon Valley for New York’s attempts to create a Tech Valley?

Policy Theory and Practice (3-4 pages)

1. Should New York fund more incubators? What are the organizational or institutional characteristics of successful incubators? Are there limits to the incubator strategy of growing lots of small firms?
2. Should New York fund more research parks like Albany Nanotech? What are the organizational or institutional characteristics of successful research parks? Do research parks necessarily create an innovative high tech cluster?
3. What is the role of organizations like the Tech Valley Initiative or CEG in promoting Tech Valley? What are the lessons of other regional initiatives?


Administrative details
Due Monday, November 6. 10 am
5-7 pages, 12pt times roman font, STAPLED

As a side note, this paper assignment originated from a paper I was asked to write about how New York should use clusters to guide their economic development policies. If you are interested, you can read my paper, A Framework for Cluster-Based Economic Development Policies