article: "Silicon Valley's next boom could be profitably patriotic"

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Sat Dec 22 2001 - 05:29:05 MST

I picked up this newspaper on my return to Europe a couple of
weeks ago. Please tell me (yes or no) if you are shocked.


San Jose Mercury News, Tuesday 11 December 2001
Page 6B, Opinion section

Silicon Valley's next boom could be profitably patriotic

The Valley's next economic engines will be biotechnolgy and
nanotechnology -- engineering at a molecular level. So says a new
report by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley.

Long-term, that's true. But the region's most immediate opportunity
may lie in solving America's pressing challenges, bioterrorism and
cyberterrorism. As a result of Sept. 11 and anthrax attacks, the
federal government is pouring money into homeland protection, and
ocmpanies are reordering their priorities.

Computer security is the one area that's getting a big boost in
corporate information technology budgets. Congress has approved $40
billion for domestic defense capabilities, and more is coming.

Richard Clarke, President Bush's cybersecurity adviser, said the
Office of Management and Budget, the government's budget hawk, will
take to task departments that don't spend *more* on computer
security. Last week two House leaders proposed the $7.5 billion
Cyber Security Research and Development Act. It would funnel money
to agencies like NASA for security research, and to universities and
community colleges to promote technology careers. One obvious use:
courses for laid-off engineers and dot-com workers looking to shift

What these and other developments hold for the valley will be the
focus of a one-day conference, the Technology and Homeland Security
Summit and Expo, on Thursday in San Jose. San Jose Silicon Valley
Workforce Investment Network, a federally funded job placement
agency, is organizing the even. The Mercury News is a sponsor.

Matching the employment needs of companies with the workforce is one
theme. Government procurement is another. Some Silicon Valley
companies are eager to enlist in the war against terrorism, with its
double appeal of patriotism and profits. But, sensing a clash of
cultures, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs traditionally have kept a
distance from government, and many wouldn't have the faintest idea
how to navigate labryinthine federal bureaucracies.

It's smart to bring companies together to share war stories, show
off products, and learn from each other. Washington and the Valley
share a common interest in putting new technologies to use as fast
as possible.

Amara Graps, PhD email:
Computational Physics vita:
Multiplex Answers URL:
"Sometimes I think I understand everything. Then I regain
consciousness." --Ashleigh Brilliant

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