Growing an Optics and Photonics Economy

Tom Hausken

Optica’s Tom Hausken writes about what makes a successful economic center.

Work center[Getty Images]

Volumes have been written to explain why some places, such as Silicon Valley, are hubs of innovation and startup companies, and how to re-create such centers elsewhere. The explanation starts with the concept of “economies of agglomeration”—the gains from grouping related firms in a physical place. The crowd of competing gas stations near a freeway exit is an example of a simple agglomeration, but we refer here to clusters with enough synergy to renew themselves again and again.

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