Selling Silicon Valley: Frederick Terman's model for regional advantage

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89 Scopus citations


This paper explores the origins of the Silicon Valley model for regional economic development, and attempts to deploy this model elsewhere in the United States and abroad. Frederick Terman, Stanford's provost, first envisioned its unique partnership of academia and industry, and trained the first generation of students who effected it. He patiently cultivated an aggressively entrepreneurial culture in what he called "the newly emerging community of technical scholars." Beginning in the 1960s, business groups elsewhere set out to build their own versions of Silicon Valley, some enlisting the assistance of Terman and his proteges. After discussing the emergence of the Stanford-Silicon Valley effort, the paper examines in detail the New Jersey Institute of Science and Technology, an effort led by Bell Laboratories; the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest and the SMU Foundaton for Science and Engineering in Dallas, Texas; and the Korea Advanced Insitute of Science and Technology, Terman's last and arguably most successful attempt. The paper discusses the reasons for the difficulties in creating new versions, and suggests explanations for the apparent success of the Korean experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-472
Number of pages38
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • History


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