It’s All About the Distance. Or is It?
Sure, power contributes to your ability to hit a home run, but it’s also the mechanics of how you swing that can take the ball farther. Many community and economic development initiatives throw a lot of money (power) at an issue without an understanding of the underlying issues and opportunities. A better approach is to use community input combined with real-time data to better understand the current local mechanics and what forms of investment (money and time) it will take to support change. Continue reading “5 Lessons From the MLB All-Star Game for Economic Opportunity Pursuits”
Recently, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the competition to award its first National Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NMII). Proposers may focus on any advanced manufacturing technology area not already addressed by another institute or open competition. Seven institutes have been funded to date with two currently moving through the review and negotiation process. After attending the Proposer Day session on March 8, 2016, it is clear that many proposal teams have already been formed. Continue reading “NIST Announces NMII Competition”
On April 27, Fourth Economy market opportunity client The Water Economy Network (WEN) collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cohost the National EPA Water Technology Innovation Cluster Leaders Meeting, at Pittsburgh’s Omni William Penn Hotel. Continue reading “National EPA Water Technology Innovation Cluster Leaders Meeting Held in April”
Fourth Economy continues to be involved in developing and implementing cluster strategies that move beyond the data, focusing more on tangible marketing opportunities for regions across the country. Once identified, regions can bring together common industry partners to solve challenges and help grow their respective markets – all of which helps to distinguish and add value to a particular region or community. Continue reading “Water Economy Network to Host National EPA Water Technology Innovation Cluster Leaders Meeting”
The answer is Higher Eds use economic and social impact studies for a lot of different reasons. Underlying is the desire to showcase their good work and demonstrate the value their work creates. And they want to communicate that value in terms that will resonate with internal and external audiences. Audiences may include: public officials, policy makers, community residents, investors, and Higher Ed faculty, staff, students and alumni. Economic and social impact studies help Higher Eds compete for state funding, maintain their tax-exempt status, help defend against criticism and help increase fund-raising. Continue reading “Higher Eds use Economic Impact Studies for what?!”
New ideas fuel the fourth economy. But they need the right talent, money and a market ready to greet them. There are few market opportunities that need new ideas and innovation than those within the water sector. In 2012, Fourth Economy helped to launch the Water Economy Network (WEN). A key goal for WEN and its industry members is to encourage new water related technology development and deployment. To help WEN achieve that goal, Fourth Economy and WEN joined with Idea Foundry (a Pittsburgh-based non-profit that specializes in innovation acceleration and commercialization) to launch a water technology acceleration program called Innovate H2O. Innovate H2O is a program aimed at identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions that address global water challenges. Continue reading “The Launch of Innovate H2O”
Universities make huge contributions to the US economy annually. However, understanding and communicating those contributions is not always realized nor easily demonstrated. Over the years, I’ve conducted multiple economic impact studies and helped many universities understand and communicate their economic impact results. However, not all universities have completed an external economic impact study or been afforded the opportunity to learn about avenues to communicate their economic impact. And as an impact analyst I’m always interested in learning about new ways to help universities more effectively assess, utilize and communicate their economic impact. Continue reading “Trends in Economic Impact”
Having personally conducted and written more than 75 comprehensive economic impact studies using linear cash flow models for higher education and health care clients over my 16+ year career, I thought it would be interesting to look more closely at how the focus of economic impact reports has changed over the years. Continue reading “What’s New in Economic Impact”
A multi-state, economic growth accelerator, the TechBelt initiative has been recognized with a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Presented on Oct. 8 at the 2013 IEDC Annual Conference in Philadelphia, the award honors this virtual organization in category of “Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration” in communities with populations of greater than 500,000.
The TechBelt initiative is a network of technology and innovation stakeholders collaborating to accelerate economic growth in northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia – states with contiguous borders and complementary industrial and academic assets. TechBelt members are broad-based, representing the economic development organizations, foundations, researchers and chambers of commerce within the “mega region.” Continue reading “The TechBelt Initiative Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)”
One of the most influential and widely pursued theories in economic development has been the use of industry clusters, or simply clusters, to focus services in a regional economy. This approach allows communities to consider the needs of interconnected firms and define a focus. What it fails to do though is to contemplate potential impacts on these clusters, both positive and negative, by market dynamics. As a result, the practice of using industry clusters as an economic development strategy is an approach that has run its course.
The Fourth Economy team has long been involved in developing and implementing cluster strategies and we have come to appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of the cluster approach. Along the way, we have developed methods, tools, and best practices that we believe can help regions to more effectively leverage their potential for economic prosperity. In this article, we first review the pros and cons of clusters and then discuss a modern approach that we call Market Opportunity Networks, which retains the advantages of clusters and reduces the disadvantages. Since 2006 members of the Fourth Economy team have been developing this methodology and demonstrated success with a number of clients. Continue reading “Market Opportunity Networks: Advancing Economic Development Strategy”