Bay Area Council Blog: Economy Archive


Members Making News: Sutter Health, Heller Manus

Sutter Health’s Mills-Peninsula Medical Center recently announced the launch of a new groundbreaking approach to avoid delays in treating strokes, which are the fifth leading cause of death and the top contributor to long-term disability in the U.S. In a public private partnership, Sutter Health will pilot a new specially-equipped and -staffed ambulance, called a mobile stroke unit (MSU). The goal is to test whether bringing stroke diagnosis and treatment to patients—rather than waiting for them to arrive at the emergency department—improves outcomes. From the outside the MSU resembles a standard ambulance, but inside it equipped with a CT scanner and other technology critical for diagnosing stroke. Initially, a stroke neurologist will ride in the Mobile Stroke Unit. Data gathered through the Mills-Peninsula pilot will contribute to national efforts aimed at demonstrating the mobile stroke unit’s ability.


Heller Manus Founder and President and Bay Area Council board member Jeffrey Heller recently was awarded one of the top honors in architecture, the MIT Architecture Alumni Lifetime Achievement award. Heller joined I.M Pei in receiving the illustrious honor. In making the award, MIT said: Since its beginning in 1984, Heller Manus has established a reputation for influencing architecture and urban design in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. Heller is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Heller is a major supporter of MIT’s Department of Architecture, where his Jeffrey D. Heller Fund provides graduate student financial support and is helping MIT move the needle on its goal of making the School of Architecture and Planning tuition free for all graduate students. Congratulations, Jeff!

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Bay Area – Germany Dialogue on Smart Manufacturing / Industry 4.0

From November 7 – 9, the Bay Area hosts a German delegation of Smart Manufacturing / Industry 4.0 leaders, including the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan Manufacturing Leader of the Year 2017 Award. The program is organized by EIT Digital and the German American Business Association in California as part of the “Year of German-American Friendship” and includes events on November 7 and 8 that are open for BAC members as well as visits to Bay Area manufacturing sites.  Learn more and register here>>

November 8 at 4 pm, Industrie 4.0 Conference at SAP Palo Alto: REGISTER


So Much for the Demise of Silicon Valley

While some outsiders see a decline of Silicon Valley, a major announcement by JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon suggests the news of its death may be greatly exaggerated. Bay Area Council member JP Morgan Chase is planning to open a new “fintech campus” in Palo Alto in 2020 that will house more than 1,000 employees, including staff from payments start-up WePay, which the bank acquired last year. The announcement comes in the wake of a recent article (forgive us for not linking to it) in The Economist that argued Silicon Valley has peaked. Dimon doesn’t share that view and has talked about the critical role of Silicon Valley in helping advance JP Morgan’s push into technology as it works to make banking more convenient for business and new consumers and address issues related to online fraud and cybersecurity.

Dimon’s enthusiasm for Silicon Valley is echoed in an opinion article by Bay Area Council Economic Institute Senior Director Sean Randolph that is scheduled to run in the coming days. In it, Randolph writes “that region’s economy is growing at a rate that rivals the fastest growing economies in the world. The region’s universities are among the world’s best, and are continuing to draw top talent. Patent generation, as it has for decades, far exceeds that of peer cities across the country (17.3% of all U.S. patents originate here; the next closest place in New York with 5.5%). Four of the most highly capitalized companies in the world are located here, with lines of unicorns and mega-unicorns waiting to go public. More importantly as a barometer, the region’s share of national venture investment is holding steady at a remarkable 45%, the number of incubators and accelerators is growing, and entrepreneurs are continuing to pour into the region.”


Merced Visit Highlights Megaregion, Public-Private Partnerships

The important role of Merced and UC Merced in the growing Northern California megaregion was the focus of a recent trip the Bay Area Council made to that Central Valley city to hear from Mayor Mike Murphy and Chancellor Dorothy Leland about some of the incredible changes taking shape there. CEO Jim Wunderman led the Council delegation, which heard from Murphy as he outlined the city’s many assets and plans for growth. Leland described progress on the university’s massive Project 2020 expansion, the nation’s largest and most impactful public-private partnership (P3) to deliver civic infrastructure.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute under the leadership of Senior Director Sean Randolph provided the early research into public private partnerships that was instrumental in guiding the development of UC Merced’s bold Project 2020 plan, which includes 13 new buildings. She credited the Economic Institute’s work for focusing the campus on the P3 option when others proved unavailable, informed its strategy, and has enabled the current buildout. Against that backdrop, Wunderman talked about growing population in Merced and the broader Central Valley, the relatively affordable home prices and the role that stronger rail connections could play in linking the city more closely to the Bay Area and integrating it with the emerging megaregion.

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland

“Today we are focusing on the economic potential of building greater interconnectedness, which would have major benefits to both regions,” Leland said. “It’s not just about creating a bedroom community here. We will be attracting businesses and industries that will help lift Merced, the Valley and the state.”

Merced Mayor Mike Murphy

“This has been a fantastic thing for us,” Murphy said. “We’ve had a real public interest with UC Merced, and there has been an increase in private interest because of it.”

Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman

“When you look at the Central Valley and the Bay Area, you think of separate places that are far away. Once that transportation connection is complete, the game is going to change.”

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Learning from Portland’s Regional Governance Model

A Bay Area Council delegation of business and government leaders traveled to Portland, Ore., this week to see what we can learn about that region’s approach to housing, homelessness, transportation and regional governance, among other issues. Led by Executive Committee members Chris Rivielle of Plant Construction and Mary Huss of the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal, Council CEO Jim Wunderman and  Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO Russ Hancock, the group met with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and leaders of regional government agency Metro, the Portland Business Alliance and Prosper Portland.

Mayor Wheeler stressed the need for partnership across the West Coast as the Bay Area, Portland and Seattle confront similar challenges in housing affordability, homelessness and traffic. Additionally, the group toured Portland’s exciting Broadway Corridor Project, a major new development on 32 acres in the heart of the city. The Council will bring the lessons it learns from Portland back to the Bay Area to help inform our own work to grow regional collaboration across the Bay Area. The Council extends its appreciation to Alaska Airlines for serving as lead sponsor. The Portland trip is one of a continuing series that the Council is organizing to learn how other regions around the country are addressing similar challenges as those we experience here.

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Leveraging Tech, Innovation to Address Regional Challenges

The Bay Area Council this week was thrilled to partner with member company TechCrunch on Disrupt SF 2018, one of the technology industry’s biggest annual gatherings highlighting the game-changing founders, new startups and emerging trends shaping and leading the tech sector. As part of a speaker lineup that included Priscilla Chan, Ashton Kuchar and Daru Kawalkowski, Council CEO Jim Wunderman led a conversation on how technology and innovation can be leveraged to address the many challenges the Bay Area faces even as the economy booms.

Wunderman was joined by Carla Boragno, Vice President of Site Services for biotech giant Genentech and Co-Chair of the Council’s Housing Committee; Michael Matthews, California Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Co-Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee; and, Vikrum Aiyer, Head of Public Policy & Strategic Communications for Postmates. The discussion delved into the role business can play in working with elected and government leaders to address housing, transportation, climate resiliency and workforce development challenges. While the challenges are real, Wunderman also shared findings from the recent Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s 2018 Economic Profile that examines the overall strength of the region’s economy.

Watch videos from the action-packed, three-day extravaganza>>



CA Faces Staggering $1 Trillion Infrastructure Funding Gap

California’s vibrant economy and communities rely on an extensive infrastructure network of highways, bridges, ports, levees, rail lines, schools, hospitals, and energy, water, and wastewater systems. Over the past several decades, much of the state’s infrastructure has been inadequately maintained and is facing a backlog of deferred maintenance, even as new needs arise. Funding has not kept pace with aging infrastructure or the demands of a growing economy and population. On the current spending trajectory, California’s infrastructure funding gap will reach $1 trillion by 2050, according to a new report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute that examines how public private partnerships (P3) can help close the gap.

The Economic Institute’s earlier research on this exciting form of investment was instrumental in guiding UC Merced’s use of P3s to finance and begin work on its massive campus expansion. Investment in infrastructure has one of the highest economic multipliers of any form of government spending, but due to California’s failure to invest in and maintain its infrastructure at all levels, the state is putting its future growth and prosperity at risk. The Economic Institute’s latest report examines how governments can innovate, attract investment, and improve infrastructure performance through the use of public-private partnerships.

Read Public-Private Partnerships in California: How Governments Can Innovate, Attract Investment, and Improve Infrastructure Performance>>


Pushing Back on Business, Jobs Taxes

A number of Bay Area cities are teeing up new taxes on the November ballot aimed at jobs and business that will hurt the region’s economic competitiveness and make it vulnerable when the next recession rolls around. Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman joined KQED Forum this morning (Aug. 24) to talk about why specialized, local taxes are the wrong answer for addressing problems like housing, traffic and homelessness whose scale and complexity require regional solutions. Taxing jobs will only discourage new investment in the Bay Area, drive companies to look elsewhere when they are expanding and make it far more difficult for the region to recover when the economy inevitably takes a turn for the worst. Wunderman also argued that none of the proposed taxes come with reforms aimed at regulatory barriers and other obstacles that often drive up the cost of addressing problems.

Listen to the KQED Forum discussion on jobs taxes>>


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Breakfast with Ravi Shankar Prasad

The California Business Roundtable, California Chamber of Commerce, Bay Area Council, DLA Piper, and The Westly Group, in partnership with NASSCOM, the industry association supporting the $154 billion IT industry in India, cordially invite you to an exclusive reception and presentation honoring the esteemed

Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Minister for Electronics & IT, Law & Justice
Government of India

Union Minister Prasad will join us to discuss his vision for a Digital India and long-term partnership opportunities with American and California-based companies looking to help the Government of India with its vision to bring better access to digital technology to its citizens.

Monday, August 27, 2018

DLA Piper
555 Mission Street, 24th Floor
San Francisco, CA

9:15-10:45 AM—Breakfast Reception & Presentation
For security purposes, please plan to arrive no later than 9:00AM

There is limited space for this exclusive event, so please RSVP at your earliest convenience to Cadee Condit at (209) 756-1202 or


A Bay Area-Europe Collaboration on Cybersecurity Education

EIT Digital and Bay Area Council member UC Berkeley have joined forces to launch Cybersecurity 360, the first professional education program of its kind, which will take place this October in Berkeley and in Munich, Germany. The program includes experts from both the U.S. and Europe, who will equip industry leaders to effectively address relevant cybersecurity issues in their management decisions.

This collaboration between EIT Digital and UC Berkeley Executive Education couldn’t be timelier, as organizations increasingly discover the price of online carelessness. According to the 2017 “Cost of cybercrime” study by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of online crime globally climbed to $11.7 million per organization, a 23 percent increase from 2016. Through the Cybersecurity 360 program, decision makers are able to obtain the required level of proficiency in cybersecurity to safeguard their organizations. Program details are available HERE.