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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunities Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

California Polytechnic State University


San Luis Obispo, CA

Project Name

Planning To Support Expansion of the Cal Poly Technology Park into a Master Planned Innovation Complex


Science & Research Park Development Grants

Award Amount


Cal Poly proposes to expand the current footprint of the highly successful Cal Poly Technology Park into a Cal Poly “Innovation Complex” conceived as a physical setting designed to encourage and facilitate innovation in an interdisciplinary environment that brings together students, faculty, and businesses in a common space.  This project will support critical market feasibility and programming studies to ensure the build-out of the Cal Poly Innovation Complex meets the needs of the University and the region for the next 20-30 years.

In a region plagued by low-paying jobs, underemployment, and a lack of affordable housing, the proposed project will help diversify and stimulate the economy by attracting businesses, developing new industry clusters, and creating high-paying jobs.  Three common hurdles that local technology companies face in hiring new employees are the lack of high-wage jobs for spouses; the lack of alternatives if the original job proves unsatisfactory; and the high cost of housing.  The Technology Park addresses these hurdles by creating high-paying technical jobs and employment opportunities for professional spouses.

In 2004, Cal Poly commissioned an Economic Impact estimate of the first 25,000 square foot Technology Park building.  In that study, it was estimated that 83 jobs would be created, with earnings of $51,000 per job per year.  Using a multiplier to capture the direct and indirect economic impact of these expenditures, it was estimated that payroll impacts were $7.21M per year.

The total economic impact when taking into consideration good and services, tourism and visitors, and new companies created from the Tech Park building was estimated to be $8.6M per year.  Therefore, based on three years of operations in the existing Technology Park building, Cal Poly estimates that each additional 25,000 square foot building will add at least $10M per year in net economic impact to the region.