Investing in Knowledge Creation — a Competitive Necessity

In today’s Bacon’s Rebellion, Doug Koelemay contributes his insights to Gov. Mark R. Warner’s plan to pump $550 million into state university R&D programs. As a follow-up, he suggests creating a “Governor’s Technology Opportunity Fund” to help recruit R&D facilities. There’s more at stake than most people realize, Koelemay contend:

Consider, for example, the tug-of-war now growing over the future of federal R&D agencies — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Army Research Office — now located in Northern Virginia, specifically in Arlington County. While its recommendations about Master Jet Base, Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach have gotten a lot of attention, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) also recommended moving 20,000 jobs out of Arlington County. Potentially more important than the empty office space that results in Crystal City may be the empty minds if DARPA, now in a building in Ballston that does not meet new security requirements, moves not to another location in Ballston, but to Maryland. What if other federal research agencies followed?

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One response to “Investing in Knowledge Creation — a Competitive Necessity”

  1. Investing in knowlege creation?

    With hundreds of millions in ‘surplus’, the new VDOT policy is to leave snow and ice on unimproved roads until Spring. With priority management like that, putting the money anywhere else looks smart.

    I’m not sure how Governor Warner enjoys good ratings after gutting Virginia’s basic, critical infrastructure. It’s beyond comprehension that others buy into this idea of “investing”; using money taken away from fellow Virginians who are now without heating fuel, groceries, or access to medical care.

    Government is about the basics: life, freedom, protection from armed enemies, road maintainence, etc. Investing is what people do after all the basics are met.

    The state has an obligation –currently unfunded and unmet– to take care of its citizens. Once that’s done, if there’s extra revenue, perhaps we can discuss investing.

    [The converse argument is that if the basics are fully met, there’s no need to bribe.. uhh, invest, so that corporations will locate here. Business will naturally pick the best supporting infrastructure.]

    It’ll be interesting how Kaine’s pre-K idea works with 4 year-olds toddling a mile through snow to the nearest improved road.

    subpatre – hotter than flaming Bacon

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