By Garlynn Woodsong of Portland, Oregon. Garlyn is "a geographer by training, a PSU graduate who went to MLC for high school and has family roots in both urban and rural Oregon."
The White House recently budgeted a new $8 million nanotechnology research center for Oregon. This will likely be located in Corvallis, though all of the major research institutions in the state are involved.
With this announcement, it seems like Oregon may be trying to do with nanotech what San Francisco is trying to do with biotech: Get the jump on an emerging new technology, attract the best and the brightest minds, and use this edge to compete successfully throughout the lifetime of the technology as it matures.
Will nanotechnology be the new big thing that pumps the state's economy back to life, creates jobs throughout the state, and attracts educated, talented people from elsewhere? Will it energize places like Portland's South Waterfront development, or will it cause more suburban office campus-style sprawl development?
What does this mean for the future of the state, and how does it affect the progessive vision?