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Technology essential to state's growth

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I attended the Governor's Economic Development Conference May 18-19. I would like to thank Gov. Carnahan and Joseph L. Driskill, director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development, for their hard work in the economic area.

I attended several work sessions. The technology Gateway Alliance was about the St. Louis effort to attract technology-based business. Greg Sullivan, one of the speakers, pointed out that when a technology creation meeting is called in California, business owners and venture capitalists come. When one is called in Missouri, business leaders and bankers come. The point is that we must do more to bring the venture angels together with incubating and budding companies.

I discussed the Aberdeen Science and Technology Park in the United Kingdom. (More information is available at

www.astp.co.uk

on the World Wide Web.) It is home to companies working in software and information technology, electronic design and telecommunications, specialist engineering and instrumentation, environmental sciences, medical and bio-technologies. These all work in collaboration in research and development and technology transfers among tenants of the technology park.

Technology parks number fewer than 30 worldwide. The idea is to bring together the education, investment and industry communities. With a little help from the government, they can grow.

The ultimate goal is creating high-paying jobs and profits for business owners and investors. Our future must include research and development, which will lead to technology development and a better life for all.

The central location of Missouri makes an ideal spot for the development of advanced life enhancements by our citizens with such diverse knowledge. The mindset and overall human experience here is different than on the two coasts. From doing things to make life easier, to coming up with cures for diseases, we must work. Maybe we can get Michael Milken to help with cancer research here.

In another group meeting on seed capital, it was pointed out that legislation passed in this last session of Missouri's General Assembly will set aside several million dollars for business start-ups. It was also pointed out that retroactive 40 percent to 60 percent tax credits are given for those investing in new businesses in Missouri. Our state must move forward at lightning speed on technology development.

A not-for-profit group, Future of Nixa, has been started to attract and develop technological business. The name shortly will be changed to Future of Missouri. We will soon be on the state Web site at

www.communityconnection.org/

and further information is available by writing to 102 Horseshoe, No. 3, Nixa 65714.

Steven L. Reed

Nixa

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