Agricultural Regional Innovation Cluster

Project 17 - Monterey Bay

Project 17 was envisioned to be a truly regional economic development program. It is  is an SBA (Small Business Administration)-funded project to support the Monterey-Bay region's $4.5-billion-dollar-a-year agricultural industry with the development of advanced-ag-tech businesses to serve the Ag industry and create jobs in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties. Project 17 is named for the Central California Coast region's Highway 17 linking Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz, its 17th U.S. Congressional District and 17 Mile Drive in Carmel and Pacific Grove. 

The confluence of agriculture and technology blends perfectly in the Project 17 geographic area – the Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito tri-county region of the Monterey Bay Area on the north central California coast.  Silicon Valley, the former food-growing region that had been known as Santa Clara Valley, is a 30-minute to hour-and-a-half drive from much of the Monterey Bay Area’s sustained growing region.  Technologists living in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Gilroy, Hollister, Carmel and Monterey commute to Silicon Valley to the high-paying technology jobs that sustain their lifestyles in the coastal surfing and sailing, and inland farming and ranching communities.  They bring back “over the hill” with them technological expertise which they turn into small businesses and start-ups that they hope will become large companies.

The mission of Project 17 is to support the growth of the agricultural industry and technologies that advance higher-paying agricultural jobs, national food security, food and agricultural-technology exports, and investment in agriculture and advanced agricultural technologies in the tri-county region of the Monterey Bay Area, including Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties.  

We work to put the infrastructure and business ecosystem in place upon which regional businesses, colleges and jurisdictions build a critical mass of technology companies serving the ag industry and increase bottom-line profitability.  Anyone who wants to sell technology into the ag industry will have a presence here.

© Susan Barich 2013     Call:  831-462-1413  1725 Grey Seal Road, Santa Cruz, California  95062