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Notes from Innovation Policyworks
I'm a self-professed data geek and I love the saying, "In God We Trust. All Others Bring Data!" For most of our projects, we rely on US Government statistics like those from the Census Bureau, Dept of Labor and Bureau of Economic Analysis. We augment those data with structured interviews, a method borrowed from case study analysis to gain detailed and nuanced information. Often, we also use survey data - in a current project we are using a survey to gather data about alternative concepts - a way to get information directly from a targeted audience.
This issue is all about data and how information can drive policy. More   HERE .


Public-sector Partnerships Help Fuel Cleantech Innovation
SSTI's Jonathan Dworin reviews the evidence presented by several recent research reports that demonstrate the role of public-private partnerships in cleantech innovation. 

The National Resource Defense Council's new report shows that Dept of Energy R&D funding flowed to all 50 states and helped drive down the costs of clean energy innovation. Another study recently showed that the patenting activity of a cleantech startup increased more than 73%, on average, each time they collaborate with a government agency on development. And, cleantech startups that licensed a technology from a government agency secured, on average, more than twice the number of financing deals when compared to similar startups. Finally, Vanderbilt researchers found that support for networking organizations to build cleantech clusters "is worthy of more attention." Dworin's ARTICLE has links to all of this research.

Best Practice in University Lab-to-Market
University of Michigan documents best practices in university technology commercialization

By studying the universities who have achieved the "Innovation and Economic Prosperity" designation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, University of Michigan researchers have distilled four best practices for moving university research from the bench to the marketplace. They are:
  1. Value technology innovation and lab-to-market activities at all levels through cultural norms.
  2. Support innovation and commercialization at all levels through 'champions.'
  3. Create incentives and resources for technology commercialization.
  4. Support collaboration focused on technology commercialization.
 Read the Executive Summary HERE.

Illinois Issues Innovation Index; Celebrates Innovation Day

Governor J.B. Pritzker proclaimed April 12, 2019 as "Innovation Day" in Illinois, to celebrate, among other accomplishments, an explosive increase in entrepreneurship in the state affiliated with universities,  spurred by an increase in resources and support. Over the past five years, Illinois' universities have spun out nearly 1,000 startup companies. These university-supported startups have raised over $1 billion in funding and created 3,000 jobs. Read the 2019 Illinois Innovation Index HERE

Six Demographic Trends Shaping the US in 2019
Pew Research Center highlights six notable trends that you need to be aware of: 

1.     Millennials are the largest adult generation in the US, but they are starting to share the spotlight with Generation Z. 
2.     Hispanics are projected to be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the U.S. electorate when voters cast their ballots next year. 
3.     The American family continues to change.  A growing share of parents are unmarried.
4.     The immigrant share of the U.S. population is approaching a record high but remains below that of many other countries. 
5.     The U.S. unauthorized immigrant population is at its lowest level in more than a decade. 
6.     Incomes are rising in the U.S., but the increase is not being felt equally by all Americans.  

Book Review
The Square and The Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook, by Niall Ferguson
I just finished reading this amazing book by historian Niall Ferguson. It's a wide-ranging romp through world history viewed through the lens of the ongoing conflict between hierarchies and networks. From the Illuminati of medieval Europe to Freemasons to the American revolutionaries to the Bloomsbury Group to Al Quaeda to Facebook, be prepared to read about history in ways that you never imagined. Ferguson serves this up in small pieces, easy for those of us with short attention spans trained by Twitter, and makes his point well...a must read to understand current political events.
Book Review
Jump-starting America: How Breakthrough Science can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream, by Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson

This review is courtesy of Robert Atkinson in the New York Journal of Books. Robert says, "It might come as a shock for most people to hear that there are serious problems in the American innovation economy, but MIT professors Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson argue that there are. Why has innovation lagged? Simple: starting in the late 1980s as the Cold War was winding down the federal government dramatically cut back on its investments in science and research. To remedy this, the authors argue that, 'we need to invest heavily in the underlying science of computing, human health, clean energy, and more.' " See Atkinson's review HERE.

Hear Cathy on WGAN's Inside Maine with Marty Grohman
I had the most fun talking with Marty Grohman, serial entrepreneur, legislator, House candidate and now Executive Director of E2Tech. He's just as engaging in person as he is on the radio! Listen HERE.
In This Issue - May 2019

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Quote of the Month 
"Above all else, show the data."
Edward R. Tufte
New to Innovation, Entrepreneurship or Economic Development?
Want to learn more about what programs work and why?

Five Strategies for Economic Development that enhance innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Click HERE for a complimentary PDF that outlines the whys and wherefores!

Creating, Building and Supporting Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: What You Can Do
Now available on Amazon Kindle!

Every community, region or state is unique. It has its own demographics, geography, history, culture, business and industry mix, assets and politics. To figure out how to create, building or grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires an understanding of both the framework of innovation and entrepreneurship-based economic development, and a replicable, reliable process for linking that framework to your situation.
This short book is both a quick introduction to the framework, and an overview of the process, with examples from around the US to give you inspiration. 
I hope you enjoy it! If you do, please write a review! Get it HERE.

Metrics for Entrepreneurship Programs
Have you been wondering how to convince your stakeholders that your program is performing well? My book on evaluating entrepreneurial programs, written for the International Business Innovation Association (iNBIA), is available on its website. The basics apply to any economic development program. Check it out HERE.

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Innovation Policyworks enables economic development officials at state, regional and local levels make better, data-driven decisions by providing expert research, analysis and recommendations. Our clients see innovation and entrepreneurship as critical elements of their economic development strategy, and are developing new programs or policies, and/or evaluating existing ones. 

Dr. Catherine S. Renault has been delivering innovation-based economic development results in rural states for almost 30 years, most recently as science advisor and Director of the Office of Innovation for the State of Maine. Cathy is currently working on a feasibility study for an entrepreneurial support space in Biddeford, ME, starting a project in Charlottesville, VA and is also developing an online course on innovation-based economic development .
  For a list of selected projects, see www.innovationpolicyworks.com/projects.