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Old 05-20-2018, 10:18 AM
 
227 posts, read 531,254 times
Reputation: 149

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I've been wondering about this with the Amazon and Apple stuff.

If you look at big tech giants and companies doing exciting things (self-driving cars, robotics, IoT, AI, Crispr Cas9 research, etc. -- sorry, NCR is not exciting), many of them that are based in San Francisco/Silicon Valley/Seattle/Boston have R&D outposts in that group of cities, along with DC, NYC, RTP, Austin, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Denver. They tend to cluster in these places -- 50 jobs from this company, 100 jobs from that. Or in cases like Boston or DC, even more.

But they seemingly have minimal presence in places like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Atlanta. We tend to have mostly sales-related functions.

Why? I know the stuff happening in Pittsburgh is largely associated with Carnegie-Mellon, which is very strong in robotics. And if it weren't for Dell's founding, Austin might not have developed a big tech scene. Same with Microsoft in Seattle. But we have a top engineering school here. Of the cities without a lot of the type of R&D that we see in the news, we arguably have the best foundation -- Emory/CDC for biotech, Georgia Tech for engineering.

Do we not have the amount of tech talent in the city already to attract those folks? I mean, we will throw these companies massive tax incentives, probably as much or more than as anywhere, yet they'll put those outposts in places that won't give them as much.

Heck, the reason I would like to get Amazon is because of the possibility it will attract these R&D offices from other companies and that it will lead to spin-offs and venture capital. It's not who, it's what.

Yeah, I know Cobb is in negotiations to get 800+ R&D jobs, but I'm talking about overall. I'd much rather have 50 companies with 100-200 high-end R&D jobs each than a few big companies with thousands of typical corporate back-office jobs.

Maybe we do, and I'm not aware of it because I'm here and not seeing Atlanta objectively. But I don't think I'm wrong. The New York Times had an article a while back on which cities were most alike in terms of the types of jobs. Atlanta was really, really similar to Dallas.

The last big high-tech deal I can think of around here was Internet Security Systems, which had their name on a building along 400 when I moved here. A Georgia Tech grad created it and sold it to IBM and it kinda disappeared, like everything else IBM touches.

Anyway, curious as to others' thoughts??
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:26 AM
 
102 posts, read 37,914 times
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ATL got a NA headquarters for a Sage which is a software company. I think they have a little R&D, but I think that you are right in that most of the jobs there are sales/front facing.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,253,707 times
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I think you're being too hard on Atlanta and other large size cities.


No, we aren't the magnet of tech investment, like the Bay Area and the best parts of the East Coast. But, that is creating a fairly steep standard.

Atlanta has always had some R&D. FinTech and NCR might not be exciting, but its real, tangible, make our economy move, and gives Atlanta top-quality jobs and investment.

Atlanta still has the remainder of Scientific Atlanta, which was bought by Cisco long ago.

We are a top 5 conglomeration of IT jobs in the US.

We also have an interesting software/gaming industry presence in the Atlanta area

0.7% of our metro economy is R&D investment. The standouts, like Massachusetts and California, come in at 3.2% and 3.5%.


The other major standouts is Michigan, directly related to the auto industry, and Washington, which also has a low population outside of tech-heavy Seattle and the benefits granted by Boeing.


That puts us on par, or better, with New York, Florida, and Texas.


So there is ample room for growth, but we aren't void of R&D and often pace ahead of our peers. We just aren't the few large magnets of venture capital in the country.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Vinings
5,940 posts, read 2,902,450 times
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Thread title is misleading vs what you’re talking about. Tech R&D is everywhere around here. Galore. I’ve been involved with it in some capacity at most of the last few companies I’ve been with, including NCR.

As far as glamorous/flashy/“cool”, no there’s not as much of that as California. But that’s pretty much every state. Cali is where all that stuff mostly is.

But it’s all kind of subjective, though. Interesting and cool all depends on who you ask. Everybody geeks out over something.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:11 PM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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What about Georgia Tech?
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:18 PM
 
597 posts, read 194,298 times
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Why do people insist on comparing a relatively new city in ATL to first tier cities? Atl is playing catch up and doing a decent job in attracting the tech industry

Of course it’s not “cool”’ like San Fran or nyc but it holds its own against dallas, Boston and Houston
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:34 PM
 
3,267 posts, read 4,774,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
What about Georgia Tech?
Georgia Tech has an excellent rep in applied mathematics ie engineering but the big R&D is mostly drive by life sciences & Emory while having an excellent life sciences department isn't known for research outside of their relationship with the CDC.

For example, Cincinnati has more research & development going on, this is due to Proctor & Gambles labs are all in the greater Cincinnati area & the University of Cincinnati which is a major life science research center.

The state needs to make a big $ commitment to either Ga. Tech/Ga. State or Kennesaw St. to get them to this level but it will take years & billions of dollars. There was a reason why Ga. Tech wasn't extended an invite to join the big ten & it was because of the lack of research funding the big ten requires out of their member universities. Nebraska had to commit to spending billions on research to get in.

Last edited by bellhead; 05-20-2018 at 01:16 PM..
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:57 PM
 
1,040 posts, read 412,183 times
Reputation: 929
Mostly for cultural reasons. Cities like DC and Boston have a "Je Ne Sais Quoi" that tech bros love (I'm guessing the huge concentration of socially progressive people, and the extremely / authentic urban environments).

That said, these cities are becoming increasingly unaffordable for these tech bros to live in and their business environments are becoming increasingly hostile to tech companies (such as Amazon and the Seattle head tax). So I think cities such as Dallas and Atlanta, which both still have relatively low COL and are both extremely business friendly, will start to become more attractive to the tech community when it comes to significant long-term investment in the coming years.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:10 PM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,632,008 times
Reputation: 9523
Quote:
Originally Posted by citidata18 View Post
Mostly for cultural reasons. Cities like DC and Boston have a "Je Ne Sais Quoi" that tech bros love (I'm guessing the huge concentration of socially progressive people, and the extremely / authentic urban environments).

That said, these cities are becoming increasingly unaffordable for these tech bros to live in and their business environments are becoming increasingly hostile to tech companies (such as Amazon and the Seattle head tax). So I think cities such as Dallas and Atlanta, which both still have relatively low COL and are both extremely business friendly, will start to become more attractive to the tech community when it comes to significant long-term investment in the coming years.
Frankly, I rather have hardworking, responsible people with common sense than a bunch of je ne sais quoi tech bros. Let them have their authentic urban environments.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Lindbergh, Atlanta
697 posts, read 319,237 times
Reputation: 790
I used to work for a biomedical company that was started here that changed the game in terms of safe and effective blood transfusion. The technology that was developed resulted in fewer patients needing and have less adverse reactions to transfusions. They also created assays that were more sensitive in detecting blood diseases which helped to cut back on transfusion related infections(syphillis and cytomegalovirus). That technology was so great that it is used by the American Red Cross exclusively for phenotyping and screening blood products. It has the largest market share it terms of transfusion medicine and has branched out all over the world. There next foray is into molecular typing which will improve outcomes for patients greatly. It doesn't catch headlines like autonomous vehicles or drone delivery but having worked in R/D and on the clinical side, I can see how much better healthcare is improving stateside and overseas in terms of tranfusions. It was really cool to think that a homegrown Atlanta company is having such a big impact.
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