A U of M summit on the economy occurs in the midst of a vigorous debate about whether Minnesota is thriving or falling behind.
The University of Minnesota is launching an effort to commercialize promising University technologies by bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and academia. Amid worries that Minnesota has fallen behind in the high-tech, information-based economy, many observers say the University must play a central role in keeping Minnesota competitive.
Merger talks between Northwest Airlines and American airlines have apparently stalled. The two sides are far apart on the issue of price. Talks occurred after United Airlines announced its plan to buy US Airways. If they're unable to agree on a deal, some analysts think Northwest and American may consider a marketing alliance instead.
Witnesses told a panel of powerful state lawmakers the state should take an active stance in dealing with a possible takeover of Northwest Airlines. The Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy held a hearing this morning to gauge the economic impact on the state if Northwest is acquired. American Airlines has reportedly made an offer for Northwest in response to United Airlines' plans to buy US Airways.
While many analysts say the two companies will eventually agree on terms, as one wall street source put it, Northwest has all the leverage.
For weeks, there's been speculation that Northwest and American Airlines are talking merger. Now comes the suggestion that both sides have put numbers on the table, and it's only a matter of time before a deal is struck.
Many have speculated that the rumored merger of American and Northwest airlines would doom the Twin Cities as a hub for a major airline. Not, more and more analysts say there's room for the Twin Cities among the airline elite.
United Airlines plan to buy US Airways came in for more flack in Washington. The merger proposal has taken a drubbing in several recent congressional hearings, in part because of concerns it would cause a chain reaction of airline mergers. The drumbeat in Congress may affect the proposed merger.
United Airlines' plan to buy US Airways has triggered speculation the deal will fuel a new round of mergers and consolidation in the airline industry. Some analysts are singling out Twin Cities based Northwest as a likely target.
Establishing a University-connected business incubator has become one of the more prominent proposals for reinvigorating Minnesota's high-tech economy. Incubators typically offer early-stage businesses low-cost space and a variety of services to help them become viable. They're not a new idea, but they've gained new visibility nationally with the success of a few Internet-related efforts. Incubators can help individual firms, but they're not necessarily the key to a building a high-tech economy.
Minnesota has been the launching pad for many leading technology businesses in the past. But some entrepreneurs say the state is no longer a good place for high tech start-ups, and the state's share of the U.S. venture capital pie has gone down. Recently several local investors have formed new funds to target Minnesota and the Midwest. But many observers say the state needs to do more to promote high technology, including starting its own venture capital fund.
High technology has become a major focus of economic development efforts around the country. Governors and lawmakers across the country are unveiling plans to prevent their states from losing out on the job growth and high wages that characterize successful technology industries. In Pittsburgh, the state's efforts are helping the region emerge from the ashes of the steel industry as a technology powerhouse.
Northwest Airlines and its flight attendants union today resumed negotiations aimed at ending a more than three-and-a-half-year old contract dispute. Meanwhile, the company suspended the bulk of its ongoing effort to search the home computers of flight attendants. A federal judge in St. Paul authorized the searches in connection with a company lawsuit accusing flight attendants of conducting an illegal sickout. The judge has put that lawsuit on hold. But critics say the airline's effort intrudes on First Amendment rights and invades employee privacy.
Minnesota House Republicans are proposing a Privacy Bill of Rights for Minnesotans. Republicans want to stop state government agencies from selling mailing lists, and force telemarketers to register with the state.
In the workplace, the exploding use of computer networks, e-mail and the Internet, and other digital technologies have made it easy for companies to monitor their employees. And a growing number of employers are starting to keep tabs on workers. But the results can lead to serious problems for management and labor.