University of Vermont

University Communications

Study Examines Link between Technology and Jobs

Release Date: 05-17-2006

Author: Joshua E. Brown
Email: joshua.brown@uvm.edu
Phone: 802/656-3039 Fax: (802) 656-3203

New jobs can be created by developing new technologies within Vermont, but this is most likely to succeed if these technologies are connected to existing businesses and economic strengths in the region.

This is a key finding of an article published by University of Vermont professors Curtis Ventriss (political science and natural resources) and Michael Gurdon (business) in the April 2006 issue of the journal Comparative Technology Transfer and Society.

“We’ve got to stop hemorraging jobs in this state,” Ventriss said. “But we can’t just grab onto any new technology that comes along. We should focus on our strengths, like environmental technologies, and not expect many jobs for 5 to 7 years from these new ventures.”

As a case study, the researchers used the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) — that provides space and support for start-up technology businesses — to show how these kinds of “technology incubators” can help increase the flow of new technologies from university laboratories into the marketplace.

Organizations like VCET are most likely to succeed if they are part of a long-term integrated plan for development statewide that takes account of existing strengths and weaknesses within the workforce instead of solely focusing on short-term opportunities to promote new technologies, the study notes.

VCET is an independent non-profit organization housed at and supported by the University of Vermont.

“By itself technology development is not going to be the silver bullet,” Ventriss said, “it must be coordinated with other economic strategies and rely on a strong social network of investors, entrepreneurs and educators.”

To learn more about the finding of the study, contact Curtis Ventriss, 802-656-4609, curtis.ventriss@uvm.edu. To learn more about the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies visit http://www.vermonttechnologies.com.