Science & Tech

Area universities enhance regional economy

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Study shows institutions make business, attract business

Harvard and seven other Greater Boston research universities took center stage in their role as the area’s special economic advantage: magnets for talent and investment that infuse more than $7 billion into the regional economy each year. At a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast, leaders from the universities, including President Lawrence H. Summers, President Charles M. Vest of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and President Lawrence S. Bacow of Tufts, joined more than 250 leaders in business, community, and local government to mark the release of a new collective economic study and called for a renewed spirit of cooperation for the region and its world-class research institutions. The report, an unprecedented collaboration among Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Tufts University, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, chronicles the institutions’ economic and social impact in 2000 and 2002. In addition to being a world class research and teaching institution, the University is a talent developer, business incubator, cultural resource, research center, economic magnet, and community partner. “While the Midwest may produce cars and steel, and the South may produce textiles, paper, and citrus, we produce brains, new ideas, and new technologies,” said Tufts President Bacow, who spoke on behalf of the universities on March 11.