Life Sciences Greenhouse Review

I have a post about yesterday's hearing on the Life Sciences Greenhouse, but I put it up at my other blog, since the post has as much to do with intellectual property law and policy as it does with local development politics.

Which is to say, as I much as I've long been intrigued by the politics implicit in the Greenhouse being set up in a way that channels state tobacco money back to Oakland (this, of course, isn't news to anyone who's been paying attention), I'm more interested by the debate over the best place to put investment dollars. Research, or products?

And thus I try to link back to this post about Sybase in the Bay Area: What's the best way to grow a tech economy? Pump it with products, or subsidize the local research institution? In the best of all worlds, the answer is "both," but we don't live in the best of all worlds. Or in the words of Buzz Lightyear, we're not on my planet, are we?


3 Responses to "Life Sciences Greenhouse Review"

globalburgh said... 8/29/2006 4:02 PM

I think Pittsburgh needs to learn how to cash in on the long term bet on research. At least the investment in research facilities ties the researchers to Pittsburgh (attracting the academic superstars). Also, there should be considerable marketing opportunities, helping to grow Pittsburgh's global presence. Given the investment needed to build world class research facilities, the geography of R&D will include a lucky few regional nodes. Thus, I applaud CMU's efforts to expand its presence beyond Pittsburgh and around the world.

In short, bet on what the dominant economy will become, not what it is or once was.

Anonymous said... 8/29/2006 10:09 PM

What I found ironic is that Astro Teller CEO of Body Media was quoted as saying companies are better equipped to identify market-ready technologies that yield products and jobs. Funny, we're still waiting for his firm to achieve success with their products after receiving so much venture money. Cool products, but where's the market?

Anonymous said... 8/29/2006 10:13 PM

While investment in both research and products are needed, I think the government should keep their interests focused on research. I can't imaging them becoming proficient at 2 difficult and critical things. Let the private sector work out getting the investment for products.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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