Utah Site’s focus is economics

In January, the state unveiled a map that featured locations of high-tech companies and a listing of the
state’s tech innovations.

By Brice Wallace
Deseret News business writer

Now it’s ratcheting up awareness with a new Web site focused on Utah "economic ecosystems."
Rod Linton, executive director of the Utah Technology Alliance, told the Board of Business and Economic
Development Friday that the site already is available, although its official
unveiling is scheduled for Thursday.

"We think the Web site will be a very popular and very helpful site, not only for us in DBED (the
Department of Business and Economic Development), but also for the entire business community," Linton
The site now has information about four economic ecosystems, defined as industries for which Utah has
a national reputation, expertise or a strategic advantage: biotechnology, digital media, medical devices and
Web services.

Linton said, however, that the site can be expanded. State officials also consider medical informatics,
nutraceuticals, aerospace/general aviation, sports, wealth management, travel and tourism, natural
resources and agribusiness as ecosystems.
The site contains links to organizations with connections to the the various ecosystems, including those
involved in "ideas," capital, research, people, business and government.
The business listings are sparse now, but companies will be able to add themselves to the appropriate
page. "In the next three to six months, it will be richly populated," Linton said.
He said Gov. Mike Leavitt wanted a location with comprehensive information about ecosystems and the
map was the first attempt. But the map is difficult to update and had limited space for information.

Board Chairman Dell Loy Hansen was impressed with the site. "You’ve got phone numbers; you’ve got
names; it’s updated," he said, adding that it will save people research time.
While Leavitt had used the term "economic ecosystems"
previously, the first group was presented last August. He has said
he expects the list to grow, in part from when ecosystems
overlap to create new industries and companies.

"The thing that’s impressive to me is that people are talking
about the ecosystems," Linton said. "That term has become part
of our speaking vocabulary here in Utah."

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