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South Carolina Technology Alliance  

The South Carolina Technology Alliance was charged by the South Carolina Legislature with the task of creating a business environment that is friendly to technology-intensive companies. The specific goals were to prepare a technology-capable workforce, to expand the sources of investment capital available to new technology companies, and to foster a world-class research environment within the universities in the state. Within this broad set of objectives, the need arose for a model to evaluate the economic impact of technology transfers from the three major state universities: the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

IMS Quantum was engaged to develop a model that would satisfy two major objectives: (1) The model had to be simple and transparent enough to be used as a management tool and yet capture the major types of technology transfer and compensation. (2) The model had to reflect a number of dimensions of impact that are not possible with traditional economic impact models.

Specifically the model addressed two types of technology transfers: (1) core technologies that form the basis of a manufactured product, and (2) value added technologies that enhance the value of a product currently being manufactured. In addition to these two types of transfers, there are two other kinds of impacts that often get overlooked in traditional analyses: (1) new technologies enabled by the technology under consideration, and (2) competition engendered in a new market that grows up around the technology under consideration. The fact that technologies can breed newer technologies as well as competition in new markets means that there exists a technology multiplier that is similar to an economic multiplier but which works over a longer period of time and has a much broader and possibly much greater impact.

Core Technology
The analysis of core technologies takes the form of a typical economic impact study. It shows how capital expenditures, revenues, salary and wages, input purchases, earnings, license fees, and taxes impact on the state economy and the institution in which the technology was developed.

Value Added Technology
The analysis of value added technology reflects a significant departure from traditional economic impact analyses. One must somehow capture the changes in all the categories dealt with in the prior analysis due to the use of the technology. While much of this part is based on some form of subjective estimation, it affords the opportunity for the analyst to paint a picture of an impact that is both real and plausible.

New technology enabled
All technology breeds newer technology. The question is how to quantify this effect and how much credit should go the enabling technology. Again the picture must plausible.

Competition engendered
New technologies often form the basis of new markets with new competitors. Again the question is how to create a plausible quantitative picture of this effect and how much credit should go the original technology.
 
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