investing in the states science and technology infrastructure. Among the reports recommendations:

Provide tax incentives to encourage private-sector participation in research, teacher training and K-16 curriculum development.

Promote growth of specialized networking academies run by technology firms such as Cisco, Nortel, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.

Create a university-based, non-profit organization to compile, analyze and distribute via the Internet all available data on the technology and knowledge sectors of North Carolinas economy. The data would be used to guide state technology policy.

Increase the states current research and development tax credit from five percent to at least 10 percent and broaden the pool of eligible companies.

Along with the Vision 2030 report, ITS unveiled a 32-page document mapping out strategic technology initiatives to implement e-government and improve the quality of North Carolinas technology investments. The document formalizes ITS intention to take a business-like approach to IT assets through techniques like best-value procurement and life-cycle management of IT equipment.

Hawley credits thoughtful planning such as this -- along with timely legislation authorizing electronic payments and the use of digital signatures -- with paving the way for dramatic IT progress within the state this year. Moreover, he expects innovation to continue well into the future.

"Weve been working hard on building the foundation to put us where we are today," said Hawley. "Now were ready. Were in a position to do a lot of things -- its unprecedented."

Steve Towns, Editor Steve Towns  |  Editor

Steve Towns is editor of Government Technology, and executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government TechnologyPublic CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market.