Release Date: November 1, 1999 | Last Updated Date: November 1, 1999
Sustaining California’s Technology Miracle
This report, for the first time, assesses the present status and long-term trends affecting the science and technology infrastructure in California. The purpose of the report is to provide information, guidelines and recommendations for long-term planning with respect to policies that affect science and technology and to demonstrate the usefulness of in-depth analysis of the state’s science and technology indicators.
California lacks a regularly executed strategic planning process. The CREST report fills a gap in the policy-making process in California and creates an opportunity to engage the state government in long-term planning. The report provides the essential information upon which specific strategic and tactical decisions can be made.
If supported, the technology miracle in California will continue to grow and fuel the economy. However, there is uncertainty as to what the role of the state government will be and whether all Californians will have the opportunity to share the benefits of these new industries.
California’s science and technology infrastructure consists of its research-intensive industries, the research and development activities that sustain these industries, and the educational system that supplies these industries prospective employees and advances in fundamental knowledge.
The CREST report clearly demonstrates the importance of the high-tech industry to California’s economy and its people. High-technology industries are responsible for a widely envied “California Technology Miracle.” In California, 9.3 percent of all jobs are in high-technology industries, far above the national average of 5.6 percent. Average annual wages in high- technology industries are over $60,000, roughly double average pay in all private, non-farm industries. Research and development sustain these industries, and here again California leads the nation, with 20 percent of the nation’s R&D compared to 12 percent of the U.S. population and 13 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
The significance of the CREST report is that for the first time in California, the factors that make this technology miracle happen are clearly quantified and analyzed. However, to fulfil the promise of a great future, important changes must occur. Specific actions by the state government, industry and academia can now evolve from the CREST recommendations.