Daniel Charles's article, "States Wrestle Over Measuring The Value Of High-Tech Development" (The Scientist, March 20, 1989, page 6) touches on some important questions for those sponsoring technology development initiatives. Unfortunately, the article misrepresented Ohio's approach to program assessment, and some of the statements I made on the matter were taken out of context.
It is true that measurement of results from technology development programs is an important issue for many states and to the business and scientific communities they serve. The long-term objectives and benefits of these initiatives make it difficult to show immediate economic payoffs, which are needed to generate the continual financing that is crucial to their success.
Charles's article leads one to believe that Ohio's Thomas Edison Program assessed its research centers totally on the basis of job creation (or only short-term results), but then decided to "pull away" from such an assessment strategy once...
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