An editorial written by Dr. Barry Goss, Chairman and CEO, Pro2Serve Professional Project Services.

The following editorial was written by Dr. Barry Goss, Chairman and CEO of Pro2Serve Professional Project Services.

gossThroughout the U.S., there are “Industry Clusters,” or geographic concentrations of competing, complementary, or interdependent firms and industries that do business with each other and/or have common needs for talent, technology, and infrastructure. Some examples include North Carolina’s Research Triangle; Hartford, Connecticut’s insurance and finance markets; Hollywood’s film industry; carpets in Dalton, Georgia: tourism in south Florida; and technology along Route 128 in Massachusetts and in Silicon Valley, California. (Economic Development Administration)

According to the Economic Development Administration, the firms included in the cluster may be both competitive and cooperative. They may compete directly with some members of the cluster, purchase inputs from other cluster members, and rely on the services of other cluster firms in the operation of their business.”

The Knoxville/Oak Ridge Innovation Valley has a wealth of government and private industry enterprises contributing to its vibrant and growing economy. As a result of organizations like the Department of Energy (DOE), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the University of Tennessee (UT), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and a myriad of public and private businesses engaged in developing and delivering energy-related products and services, the region is becoming nationally recognized as a major “energy cluster”.

James Gollub states that “industry cluster competitiveness derives not only from the concentration of related industries, suppliers, and services in the same place, but also from access to highly specialized economic inputs that are not usually provided solely by the business sector. These resources, often referred to as “economic infrastructure” or “foundations,” include institutions that provide: adaptable skills; accessible technology; adequate financing; available infrastructure; advanced communications; acceptable regulatory climate; and achievable quality of life” (EDA, http://www.eda.gov/Research/ClusterBased.xml).

As major economic infrastructure contributors like DOE, TVA, UT, and ORNL act as growth engines in this region, what is becoming known as the “Oak Ridge Energy Corridor” is coming to life.

With the recent establishment of the Oak Ridge Science and Technology Park on the campus of ORNL—the first commercial park ever to be developed within the confines of a national laboratory–and the location of Pro2Serve Professional Project Services as its anchor tenant in the newly constructed National Energy Security Center, the Oak Ridge Energy Corridor is taking another major step forward. We hope that Pro2Serve will just be first of many companies that that choose to locate their corporate headquarters and/or major operations in what is quickly becoming the Nation’s leading “energy cluster”.