TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND INNOVATION CAN HELP CITIES IDENTIFY PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

The California Four Cities Program - cosponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Anaheim, Fresno, Pasadena, and San Jose - was an experiment to find out if aerospace technology could be used to help solve municipal problems. The following findings are reported and discussed in this publication: (1) The Four Cities Program generally achieved its stated objectives. (2) Aerospace professionals working closely with city officials can help the cities identify problems and develop technological solutions. (3) The cities benefited in many ways, but mainly through changes in management attitudes and styles and by gaining problem-solving expertise. Benefits, however, were not always measurable. (4) Industries gained insight into municipal government operations but did not realize any immediate expansion of business. (5) Bringing technology to cities is a complex long-term process because social, political, and/or economic factors often are barriers to technological solutions to public problems. (6) Industry is reluctant to invest considerable time and money in trying to reach and solve city problems when potential commercial markets are unknown. Cities regard research as risky and are hesitant to invest their funds. (7) Although transferring any technology from industry to cities is difficult to achieve, on the basis of this program it appears that hardware or equipment is usually more difficult to transfer to cities than software, such as a management improvement system. (8) One of the most important aspects of transferring technology to cities is developing mutual trust and confidence between city officials and technology advisers. (9) The NSF and NASA did not always agree on how the program was to be managed, especially regarding the extent to which results were to be publicized for use by other cities. (10) The NSF is sponsoring an extension of the Four Cities Program in addition to a number of other projects designed to bring technology into local governments.

  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1975-8-6

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 55 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127396
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 18 1975 12:00AM