Route 128: Lessons From Boston's High Tech Community
Route 128 is a story of idealism and entrepreneurship, of ivory-tower intellectualism and practical Yankee ingenuity, of individual dreams and cooperative efforts--the search for new knowledge and the drive to put it to work. The book tells how a stretch of highway circling Boston became one of the nation's best-known centers of high-tech industrial innovation. No other region can match Boston's record of productivity and leadership in technology over the past two centuries. The fruitful interplay of industry, the federal government, and higher education in Massachusetts has produced new fields of research, novel inventions, spin-off companies, entire new industries, new academic disciplines, and innovative federal agencies like the National Science Foundation. What are the critical ingredients that produce such high creativity? What lessons are there for other states and nations interested in the fabled promise of high technology? The first book to address the importance of this area, Route 128 examines the forces that shaped the region and the role people and events there played in determining the course of the overall relationship among industry, academia, and government in our society. The book is as well a brilliant, incisive analysis of the conditions required to encourage innovation in other areas of the world. The authors highlight the roles of such "ultimate entrepreneurs" as Digital Equipment's Ken Olsen and of such academic impresarios as Vannevar Bush of MIT. The book also explains why the "Massachusetts Miracle" appeared to have crashed to earth by the end of the 1980s as the national and regional economies slid into recession and high-tech companies laid off thousands.
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