Monday, December 19, 2005

Creating Wealth in the Carolinas Optics Cluster

I recently received a note from John Ballato, Director of the Clemson Center for Optical Material Sciences and Engineering Technology.
The optics/optoelectronics is perfectly poised to play a large role in regional economic development since the global industry is very strong and growing (approaching $1 trillion globally by 2012. There are 170 optics facilities in the Carolinas, 100 optics companies in the Carolinas, our Carolinas MicroOptics Triangle consortium with Clemson/UNCC/WCU is top 2-3 in the country now in terms of size... just need someone or thing to organize and mobilize as is being done in automotive.
The International Society for Optical Engineering provides external validation of the significance of the Carolinas Optics Cluster.

The key to creating wealth is increasing the entrepreneurial activity around clusters like this.

Any thoughts as to who and how to do that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clemson's COMSET has the potenial to be a boon to the area. It seems history has shown usthat to build a entrepreneurial activity, there needs to be a critical mass of knowlege in the area to make it a viable place for a start-up to develop. For example, the Boston area is flourishing with many universities that provide faculity and students who are able to initiate and help grow a company. The alternative is to have an infrastructure of companies that use similar technology (say chemical or electronics research companies). An example of the latter structure would be the optoelectronics industry in San Jose. Poximity is important, so just because there are 100 optics companies in the Carolinas, how many are around Clemson? Despite the shrinking world, one can not underestimate the advantage of going next door to get components for a product.