EDCUtah Dec. 3, 2009
Newsletter Archive
Economic Review
Jeff Edwards, president & CEO of EDCUtah President's Message
Mark Your Calendars for EDCUtah's Holiday Open House

Make sure you mark your calendars for EDCUtah’s Annual Open House. It is a great way to connect with all of your friends and associates in economic development. The open house is from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16, at our office on the 21st floor of One Utah Center. I truly hope to see you there. RSVP by clicking here.

Last week I attended an informative meeting with Kennecott/Rio Tinto’s leadership here in Utah. The price of copper has come up and Kennecott is anticipating a good recovery in that area. What’s more, it is always impressive to see the commitment Kennecott has to the future viability of the mine and the area surrounding the mine. Kennecott Land still sees strong sales in Daybreak, its master planned community, primarily due to the company’s constant attention to marketplace needs. Kennecott is an excellent corporate citizenship and an important partner in our efforts to help Utah businesses grow, and in helping to attract new businesses to the state.

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the economic development-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Join the Utah Pavilion at BIO 2010

In the News

Two in Utah Among 'America's Fastest-Recovering Cities'
Salt Lake City ranked #45 and Provo/Orem ranked #63 on Forbes list of "America's Fastest Recovering Cities."

Olympics Put Utah Skiing 'On the Map'
In addition to great powder snow and a long winter, Utah's ski industry is blessed by the lingering buzz of the 2002 Winter Olympics, plus a major nearby airport that makes getting to Salt Lake City easy from other parts of the country.
(ABC News)

Utah employment projected to pick up
By 2015, Utah will be one of the top 10 states in bouncing back from the downturn in terms of new-job creation, an economic forecasting company said Tuesday.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Sundance lines up 16 sponsors for film festival
Sixteen companies have been signed on so far as sponsors of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, which runs Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Gov. Herbert Predicts RSL MLS Cup Win Will Bring Millions to Utah
Real Salt Lake's soccer team's MLS Championship win could bring millions to Utah, providing a boost to a struggling economy in the state.
(Fox 13) and (Fox 13)

Utah business indicators rose in November
Utah's economy continued to show strength in November, according to a monthly report that tracks the local business climate.
(Deseret News) (Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah credit markets showing new signs of life
Demand for business loans at the biggest Utah-headquartered bank seems to have bottomed out and is rising again, suggesting the recession's tenacious grip on Utah credit markets may be easing.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Turkey plant planning for big year
Utah's turkey industry has a lot to be thankful for this year. After severe financial losses last year because of high feed prices, the Moroni Feed Company is preparing for a record year of turkey production in 2010.

Solitude Resort wants to expand into Silver Fork
Solitude Mountain Resort is asking the U.S. Forest Service to let it expand into Silver Fork basin, a proposal that immediately sparked objections from influential Salt Lake City water officials and backcountry skiers.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

U of U development put on hold
A major development project at the University of Utah is now on hold.

Lodging reports signal downturn relenting
Figures in two hotel industry reports provide further evidence that the downturn, while still a major drag on business, is easing up.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Commercials to promote Utah
Filmmakers around Utah are rushing to wrap their entries for a contest promoting the state as a desirable destination for film production.
(Deseret News)

Duncan plans scaled-back facility at Provo airport
Duncan Aviation, a company that operates maintenance facilities for business aircraft, is on target to open a scaled-down plant at the Provo Municipal Airport next summer.
(Deseret News)


December 15

"Enlightened Entrepreneurs" -- Speed Mentoring and Networking for the Common Good (Press Release)

December 16
Holiday Open House (EDCUtah)

May 3-6, 2010
BIO (Chicago, IL)

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Feature Story
Sponsored Research at Utah's Research Universities has a Significant Impact on the State's Economy

Each year, Utah's three major research universities inject millions of dollars into the local economy via research spending, using grants and contracts from government agencies and private organizations. Much of the money received for sponsored research stays in Utah, creating jobs and rippling through the economy.

"Our research universities are powerful economic engines and the money they receive from grants and contracts for research can have a significant impact on Utah's economy," says EDCUtah President & CEO Jeff Edwards.

Total Research Funding
For the 2008 fiscal year, monies received for sponsored research at the University of Utah (U), Utah State University (USU), and Brigham Young University (BYU) totaled approximately $541 million. The U received approximately $365 million, while USU received $156 million and BYU $26 million. The vast majority of research dollars flowing into the three institutions comes from agencies outside the state, like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. More than 60 percent of USU's research funding comes from a diverse portfolio of federal grants and contracts with agencies such as the Departments of Defense, Education, Energy, Agriculture, and from NASA. The USU Space Dynamics Lab garnered more than one third of USU's research funding.

Now, a new study released by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), which is part of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, shows the significant impact research spending can have on the Utah economy.

"Based on our study findings, every $1 million spent in sponsored research at the University of Utah supports 20 jobs in Utah, generates approximately $849,450 in earnings for Utah workers, contributes $1.4 million in gross state product (GSP), and provides $86,135 in state and local tax revenue," says Senior Research Economist Jan Elise Crispin, who authored the study for the BEBR.

Sponsored research at the U during fiscal year 2008 directly generated 2,920 full-time equivalent jobs, while indirect and induced job creation totaled 4,380, for a total employment impact of 7,300 full-time and part-time jobs in the state. Thus, for every direct job supported by sponsored research, an additional 1.5 jobs are created in other industry sectors, Crispin says.

"When the indirect and induced ripple effects of sponsored research spending are considered, the total annual impact for fiscal year 2008 was $525.3 million in gross state product," Crispin notes. "This includes $268.8 million in direct purchases by the university and $256.4 million generated indirectly. Thus, every dollar in direct spending by the U generates an additional 95 cents in GSP for the State of Utah."

Economic Activity
Crispin points out that in relation to total economic activity in the state, the impacts of the U's sponsored research accounted for slightly more than four-tenths of one percent of both Utah's total employment and total earnings during FY 2008. Furthermore, the $525.3 million impact on the state's GSP represented almost one half of one percent of total state GSP in FY 2008.

The estimated wage bill generated by the U's research spending was $310 million: $169.6 million in direct university payroll and $140.4 million in earnings for workers in other industry sectors. "This represents an earnings multiplier of 1.83, or in other words, for every dollar in earnings paid directly by the U, an additional 83 cents of earnings are generated for workers in other industries," Crispin says.

While they don't have an analysis of research spending like the BEBR study, leaders at USU and BYU say research spending at their institutions has a similar ripple effect on the economy. Brent Miller, vice president for research at USU, says that while his school's level of funding for sponsored research is lower than that of the U, the multiplier effect of research dollars spent locally is probably similar. Gary Reynolds, director of the Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) at BYU, says approximately 90 percent of the institution's research spending stays in the state, primarily supporting faculty, technician and student wages. Approximately 25 percent is spent on student wages alone, he notes.

Research is a defining characteristic of the University of Utah and Utah State University, but less so at Brigham Young University (whose first priority is to be an undergraduate and graduate teaching university). Nonetheless, as the BEBR study shows, research spending contributes to the state's economic base in myriad ways, supporting and creating jobs, increasing earnings for Utah residents, and providing tax revenue for state and local units of government. Furthermore, when the effects of research spending on the economy are combined with that of technology privatization, the economic impact of the three universities is even greater.

"Many technologies developed through the research process have potential commercial applications that lead to the creation of new businesses or the expansion of existing ones. These potential impacts could be substantial, but were beyond the scope of our analysis," Crispin says.

Ned Weinshenker, vice president for strategic ventures and economic development at USU agrees, saying the companies that are developed out of university research generate a significant number of jobs and have a prolonged benefit on the economy.

"University-based research leads to discoveries and inventions that will form future high tech companies in Utah," adds Miller.