Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Providence as High-Tech Hub? Sure, why not?

Interesting article in today's Boston Globe by Carolyn Johnson about efforts by Providence, Rhode Island, to cast itself as a high-tech hub. eCoast gets a mention, although it's hard to tell if it's a positive or a negative. We'll call it neutral. Anyway, looks like they're serious... It's an official effort by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. They branded it RINexus (a little Matrixy but we'll allow it) and have launched a fairly impressive web site to support the effort. Here's their "About" verbiage.

RI Nexus is a public-private initiative of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation to support and grow the state's info-tech and digital media sector. RI Nexus aims to help transform the sector's collection of organizations, individuals, and initiatives into a highly interconnected statewide industry cluster by:

  • Helping the sector's stakeholders to connect, communicate, and collaborate
  • Nurturing a culture that recognizes and celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Streamlining access to support resources relevant to entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Promoting Rhode Island's dynamic info-tech & digital media sector beyond our borders
If you look at the ingredients necessary to for this sort of thing to flourish, as UNH Prof. Ross Gittell has, you'd think they actually have a pretty good shot at developing an attractive technology-based economy down there. They've got the proximity to major cities, universities, and cultural/recreational attractions. Too bad their state-wide wi-fi initiative has fallen by the wayside.

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