Submitted by acohill on Mon, 02/13/2006 - 14:08
Two statewide tech councils in Maryland have merged so that they can provide a clearer voice for technology businesses in the state.
Tech councils are an interesting response to the declining influence of Chambers of Commerce, which for the most part, have failed to re-think their mission and goals as the economy of local communities has changed. One problem with tech councils is that it further exacerbates the Chamber problem--forward thinking tech companies are more likely to belong to the local tech council than the local Chamber, but the two groups have overlapping goals. So the voice of both is somewhat diluted.
In some states, there are regional tech councils (e.g. Virginia), which has had mixed success. It's better from a local company perspective, perhaps, since a regional tech council is going to be more focused on local business needs. But if there are multiple councils, it is hard to get the entire tech center to speak with one voice. In Virginia, tech discussions at the state level are dominated by northern Virginia tech interests.
Maryland businesses are the right track by merging.
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