Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What is the Difference Between Springfield, MA and Springfield, MO?

They share the same name and both have roughly 125,000 residents, but the residents of Springfield, Missouri just got a new nanotech research lab, care of Nantero, which is based in Woburn. Why there? Here's what the company's president had to say:

Nantero set up a major research laboratory in Springfield, Mo., in response to an aggressive bid by that state's politicians.

"We didn't see the opportunity to do something similar at the same cost and on the same time scale in Massachusetts," said Nantero's president, Greg Schmergel.
One of my great hopes for the incoming Patrick administration is that they will do more to try to keep businesses from moving out of state. I don't expect them to win every battle, but I do expect them to be able to compete with other parts of the country. When I read things like this article, though, it shows just how much work they'll have to do. Here's another excerpt:
"The welcome mat really isn't out in Massachusetts," said Matthew Nordan, president of Lux Research, a New York company that studies the global nanotech industry.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has a nanotechnology initiative, but it's a pale shadow of the more aggressive efforts in other states, Nordan said.
I do understand that some other states have advantages over Massachusetts -- weather, cost of living, etc -- that we can't control. Still, that's no excuse for not aggressively trying to get businesses that start here to expand in-state. What are these other states doing that we are either not willing or able to do?