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.