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    Home : About The KnowledgeWay : Press Releases : 09/15/98 
New Economy Study Finds Greater Washington Region A Hub of Technological Innovation
 
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September 15, 1998   View the study online.
 
Key Findings Reveal that Region's Employment in InfoComm Industry Approaches that of Federal Government; Region Dominates Nation's Internet Services
 
Herndon, VA – The Potomac KnowledgeWay, with co-sponsors PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hale & Dorr LLP, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI), today announced the results of a study that found a rapidly growing new economy in the Greater Washington Region. Conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the study analyzes the information and communications (InfoComm) industry and trends in the Internet related segments in the region.

Study Finds InfoComm Industry Significant to Region's Economic Health

The study, entitled, "Toward a New Economy: Merging Heritage with Vision in the Greater Washington Region," points to the notable size of the region's InfoComm industry:

  • Employment in the region's InfoComm industry totals 328,000, which is nearly equal to that of the Federal Government at 340,000
  • InfoComm supports a regional employment base that is more than five times the region's share of total U.S. employment
  • InfoComm companies headquartered in the region generate $90 billion in sales
"The momentum that has been generated by the InfoComm industries and related Internet companies is positioning the Greater Washington region as the nexus of new business models which are sure to impact the region's future prosperity," says Fred Bollerer, president and CEO of the Potomac KnowledgeWay. "With one out of seven workers employed in InfoComm, we are working together to develop a regional agenda that supports this New Economy," he added.Dominance of the Internet Industry, Entrepreneurial Culture, and Critical Mass of Venture Capital Contribute to Region's New Economy

As the birthplace of the Internet, the Greater Washington Region leads the nation in Internet services and has spawned new Internet related companies. The study cites that nearly 50% of the nation's Internet backbone is supplied by regional companies.

The region is fast becoming a hub of Internet entrepreneurship, due particularly to the critical mass of content and communications companies located here. Additionally, a common thread in the study is the region's heritage in the Federal Government that has contributed greatly to the emergence of new enterprises and the evolution of many traditional companies.

The study cites several factors that contribute to the growth of this new industrial powerhouse in the region:

  • High-profile successes of several regional entrepreneurs
  • A culture of entrepreneurship in the region
  • Increasing venture capital investment in the region's software, information and communications companies – in the 1st quarter of 1998, investment was more than half of the total amount invested in those sectors during all of 1997.

Issues Critical to the Region in Reaching Full Potential

The study concludes that the InfoComm Cluster has emerged as one of the most significant sectors in the economy of the Greater Washington Region. To reach its full potential, however, the study identifies several issues critical to the region:

  • The availability of high-tech labor and knowledge workers
  • An integrated regional approach to address infrastructure issues, such as the attraction of venture capital and retention of skilled labor
  • A collaborative effort among the three jurisdictions – DC, Virginia, and Maryland – to position the region as a national center for InfoComm technology.

The New Economy Study is the first part of the Potomac KnowledgeWay's regional awareness initiative that will include studies on the emerging industry sectors, such as the Internet; an Impact Report on infrastructure issues; and a Regional Report Card of the region's progress on human, financial and entrepreneurial resources, education, and research infrastructure issues.

Copies of the study are available on the Potomac KnowledgeWay's Web site, http://knowledgeway.org.



Toward a New Economy:
Merging Heritage with Vision in the Greater Washington Region

Sponsors

The Potomac KnowledgeWay is a not-for-profit leadership organization acting as a catalyst, thought leader and idea incubator to help prepare and educate this region to be competitive in the advanced telecommunications, Internet and content industries and the new opportunities their gradual convergence will create in the Greater Washington area.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwcglobal.com), the world's largest professional services organization, helps its clients build value, manage risk and improve their performance. Drawing on the talents of more than 144,000 people in 152 countries, PricewaterhouseCoopers provides a full range of business advisory services to leading global, national and local companies and to public institutions.

Hale and Dorr LLP, a law firm with offices in Boston, Washington, D.C. and London, has a national reputation for advising and guiding emerging growth companies, especially those in the high technology, software and biotechnology arenas. The more than 50 attorneys in the Washington, D.C. office provide general corporate, securities, intellectual property, FDA, biotechnology, environmental, tax, litigation, real estate and regulatory representation for a variety of large and small clients located in the Mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere.

The Greater Washington Initiative (GWI) is a regional economic development marketing organization created to promote the Greater Washington region as a premier business location, with particular emphasis on science and technology companies.

Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) exists to stimulate economic growth within the Commonwealth by serving its technology-based businesses through a variety of business, technical and financial assistance programs.

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