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CCST Annual Report
 


California is a state built on ingenuity. In both the public and private sectors, we are trendsetters and national leaders. Despite years of serious state budget shortfalls, California still leads the nation in a number of innovation related indices, such as total research and development expenditure and patent registrations. In 2012, our state attracted over 53% of the nation's venture capital investment. Clearly California has many of the right conditions to encourage and sustain high-tech innovation and economic growth.

Long-term success depends on more than ingenuity, however. California cannot afford to be complacent, nor should we assume that its policy framework is ideal for encouraging the high-tech innovation the state depends upon so much. The breadth and depth of our research community gives us tremendous advantages, but we need to understand more about how to translate these advantages into lasting economic growth.

CCST has spent much of the past year examining the links between innovation and entrepreneurship, both within the boundaries of our state and beyond. This is, in part, the follow-through on our 2011 "Innovate 2 Innovation" (i2i) reports, in which we examined California's innovation 'ecosystem' at the behest of the State Legislature. We continue to pursue more in-depth analyses on how science and technology could impact the state's water infrastructure and digital education - two areas which the i2i reports called out for further attention.

These elements of the State's infrastructure are pieces of a much larger mosaic: the state's whole is more than just the sum of its parts. California's culture of innovation has persisted even in the face of a national economic downturn and significant financial issues in large part because of the connections between California's many science and technology resources, be they institutional, intellectual, entrepreneurial, or social.

CCST was founded to help foster and leverage such connections. Our mandate is to bring together every sector of the science and technology community, in order to offer the most comprehensive and valuable input to policymakers as they consider issues relevant to science and technology in California. CCST's ever growing body of experts from academia, industry, federal labs, teaching and public policy makes us a unique asset for California. We can and do bring an unparalleled breadth and depth of knowledge to focus on any aspect of science and technology that is important for our citizens.

As we mark CCST's 25th anniversary, the scope of our vision has become wider than ever. We are exploring important frameworks for policy discussion far beyond nearterm needs, as with the recently concluded California's Energy Future series of projects, which looks at possible energy scenarios through 2050, and far beyond California's borders, such as our discussions of state policy in the context of partnerships with China.

CCST has been advising California about science and technology related issues for a quarter century. Much has changed in California since 1988, but the need for reliable, impartial S&T related input remains just as great. We look forward to another 25 years of growth, innovation, and expanding connections both within California and beyond.