High Tech Sectors in the Sierras

27 07 2011


When the topic of high technology comes up, many people envision scientists in lab coats looking at beakers of colorful smoking liquids, scribbling notes on clipboards.  While that may be true in some cases, it is not the only way scientists and engineers push the limits of our knowledge.  In fact, these folks are all around us going to work not just at the places like IGT that you’ve likely heard of, but at Altair Nanotechnologies and Advanced Refining Concepts, Inc. as well as many others.  So what is high technology?

Wikipedia defines High Technology as the  technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology currently  available.

The OECD (Organization for Economic  Cooperation and Development) includes several industries in the high tech sector:

To make things even more crystal clear, the OECD also specifies medium-high tech and so forth depending on the level of R&D investment.  One of the Wiki authors even admits, “It can be concluded, that companies in a high-technology industry do not necessary produce high-technology products and vice-versa.”   This leaves us with a broad definition of high tech and plenty of fodder for discussion.

In terms of this blog, I will not be splitting hairs on what is high tech, rather, Iwill be discussing anyone that is pushing the limits and focusing on how that affects us in the Sierras and Great Basin.

And that’s not all.  For the region to have a thriving high tech scene, there are several supporting factors that must be in place.  We need a reasonable tax base to attract entrepreneurs, and those taxes must result in quality K-12 and higher education and the infrastructure to support manufacturing.  Finally, the area must have a source of funding new prospects be it from the banking sector, the Venture Capitalists, and/or the Angels that have more money than time.  Of course, another topic that I may have to touch on would be any legislation or regulation that is affecting the community although I plan on staying out of politics (unless absolutely necessary).

Tune in next time and I’ll discuss the wireless industry and how our region has made several contributions to make your cell phone work.   Some of these locally designed products are used worldwide.

Thanks for Your Time.




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