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Automation Alley's First Annual Technology Industry Report: Driving Southeast Michigan Forward

Automation Alley is an eight county region in Southeast Michigan, and a member organization aimed at developing and promoting the region’s technology industry. Automation Alley retained Anderson Economic Group to provide an assessment of the size and scope of the region’s technology industry and how it has changed from 1998 to 2003.

Our analysis first required that we provide a conservative and reliable definition of the technology industry, which we arrived at by surveying existing definitions of the industry, and carefully reviewing the characteristics and occupational patterns by industry subsectors (using NAICS codes). We then identified six technology clusters: Advanced Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Chemicals and Material, Information technology, Life Sciences, and other.


Using this definition, we were able analyze census data to determine how many employees worked in each of six technology industry clusters present in Automation Alley. We also assessed total payroll, average wages, and the number of establishments for each sector, and for each county within Automation Alley. We also analyzed other indicators of the region’s technology industry, including patents issued, university and military research and development, and automotive research and development.

We compiled our analysis into a 97 page report, complete with a foreword from Patrick L. Anderson, several appendices, and detailed narrative and graphics on the region’s technology industry. An abridged version was also published by Automation Alley for distribution to its members, the media, and businesses throughout the world.

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