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
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.
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.
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.