Bill Dean is director of the Piedmont Triad Research Park.

The attraction of employment, higher income, capital investment, and continued economic growth to raise the standards of living drive communities to build a competitive advantage. Communities around the world are building, or rebuilding, to the new-knowledge economy with various tag-line creations: innovation communities, smart communities, entrepreneurial communities, and so on. These communities recognize the economic shift of business: Local economies rely on new development of competitive products for a global market that places great value on intellectual capital. Much of today's business focuses on smaller, fast-growth companies, built on new technology from intellectual expertise around the world.

A community, as a society, benefits from university, industry, and public-sector partnerships to build a technology economy.

Research communities know that today's...

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