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64 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2021 ments put forth are in the vein of national se- curity, job creation, and technological leader- ship—and they have their merits. However, from another perspective, this thinking is somewhat flawed. One can recall the Foxconn project that was highly touted to bring 13,000-plus jobs to the state of Wisconsin. e original project called for the construction of a very large LCD fac- tory with an initial investment of $10 billion. Now, the official word is that the factory will be drastically scaled down. Foxconn will now employ 1,454 people and invest $672 million. With the amended agreement, Foxconn will only be eligible for tax breaks of $80 million, down from the original $2.85 billion [1] . Even if the project met its original employment pro- jections, what would be the end results for the state of Wisconsin? One will never know. Could taxpayer funds be deployed in oth- er ways to spur innovation and employment growth? Perhaps additional investments in workforce training and skills development will help close the gap and provide the necessary impetus for technology firms to innovate and compete successfully with the low-cost locales. With all this said, how can smaller firms lever- age their respective techniques and know-how through collaboration? Collaboration and Consortium e word consortium is derived from the Latin word "con" (together) and "sors" (fate). Indeed, a consortium is a business collabora- tion framework for companies to work togeth- er and share both the risks and the future re- wards of the collaboration. For some, collaborating with potential com- petitors is met with deep-rooted suspicion. is is just human nature. However, consider the lack of action or collaboration. One loses the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of companies and individuals. Potential collab- orators are like a team of medical providers. Some may be general surgeons, others may be heart surgeons, and others may be nurses. Each brings a unique set of skills and know-how to saving someone's life. Together, the team stays focused on the task at hand. e same can be said about collaboration for industrial innovations. Each individual part- ner brings valuable, unique skills that you may never acquire yourself. is is extremely use- ful when attempting to solve a specific prob- lem or issue. Collaboration is a golden opportunity to in- novate. In his book, e Innovator's Dilem- ma, Clayton Christensen wrote about "disrup- tive technologies," describing how they gain market acceptance through small wins with- out necessarily drawing attention from larger firms who remain steeped in their tried-and- true technologies and products [2] . is is the opportunity to fly under the radar and allow the innovation to evolve over time. Essential- ly, this is an offering of a less than perfect prod- uct, however, one that is functional, reliable, and cost effective. Subsequent improvements can occur over time and can be done so rela- tively quickly. So, how do we get there? One can start by looking at clusters. In e Competitive Advantage of Nations, author Michael E. Porter details his view of clusters, which are geographic concentrations of firms in similar industries and market seg- ments. Some of these companies are suppli- ers to other firms, while others may help with logistics, warehousing, and ancillary services. One can even go a step further and look to uni- versities in the region, along with testing lab- oratories and consultants who can support these firms [3] . Each individual partner brings valuable, unique skills that you may never acquire yourself.

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