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    Home : About the KnowledgeWay : Press Releases : 4/3/97 
Greater Washington Leaders Unveil Plan to Create New Firms, Jobs, Economic Vibrancy
 
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April 3, 1997

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project announced today its five-year goals for enabling Greater Washington to compete with Silicon Valley, Malaysia, Boston and other regions for global leadership in the knowledge industries. The goals are:

  • new companies: cultivate 2,000 new entrepreneurial "Digital Age" firms
  • new jobs: create 50,000 new knowledge-based jobs beyond normal growth
  • more knowledge workers: triple the region's net-savvy work force
  • bottom line results: increase the region's personal consumption by $3.5 billion annually, beginning in 2002
  • reputation: establish this region as the top U.S. location for knowledge-based companies and entrepreneurial activity
A cross section of the region's leadership came together at The Washington Post Company to hear this plan to face increasing domestic and international competition. The Potomac KnowledgeWay plans to raise $10 million to pursue this aggressive agenda; the Development Campaign has raised $4 million to date.

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is a Greater Washington collaborative effort focused on fostering the growth of new and existing companies in the knowledge industries; producing, recruiting and retaining a skilled work force capable of competing in a global, information-driven economy; and connecting our community at all levels to the opportunities in the "Digital Age."

"Dozens of regions across the country and the world are gearing up to compete in this new economy. Greater Washington needs to act now to secure its leadership position," said George Newstrom, group executive of EDS Government Services and a member of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project Development Campaign Council and Board.

Members of the Potomac KnowledgeWay point to statistics that highlight the region's talent and experience in knowledge industries such as satellite, wireless and Internet communications, new media, systems integration and other information technologies:

  • Greater Washington employs 262,000 technology workers at over 2,300 companies, the second highest concentration of technology firms in the country. These firms generated $21 billion in direct revenue in 1994, or 16% of the economy's total revenue (George Mason University).
  • More than 50 % of all Internet traffic passes through the Greater Washington region, headquarters of companies such as AOL, MCI, and UUNet (Washington Technology).
  • More than half of the companies that control the $15 billion global satellite communications industry are located in Greater Washington (Washington Technology).
"Greater Washington's competitive edge in national and international business development will be determined by regional collaboration," said President John Tydings of The Greater Washington Board of Trade and a member of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project Board. "Our success will be measured by a net increase in new jobs and new business: a plus for the whole region."

"It is up to this region's stakeholders to decide whether they want to be leaders or followers in the new, digital economy," said Mario Morino, chairman of the board of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project. "The region's unique raw information assets and the emergence of a network-driven entrepreneurial economy fill all the requirements for becoming a top location for businesses in the 'Digital Age.' Our leadership in the digital economy will mean a net increase in revenues and a net improvement in the economy—that's a real 'Net Plus' for everyone in the region."

Visit the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's Web site at http://knowledgeway.org.

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