Measuring Economic Development Without Depending on Jobs

By David Gard

A recent article from Governing poses an interesting question: “can you have economic development without job growth?”  At the end of the day, economic development is always about jobs.  But, as the article asserts, the strategy implemented to secure new jobs may need to be about something else.  Thus, if new jobs are the desired outcome, strategies may need to be focused on the outputs that can then help lead to job growth. 

In the so-called “jobless recovery,” how do you measure economic development success without depending on jobs?  A few emerging ideas are proposed:

  • Focus on the emerging sectors that are a good match for your community, region, or state.
  • Focus on the “high value added” sectors of the economy that will add true wealth to the economy (look upstream in the value chain).
  • Match businesses to local labor skills – while still striving to broaden skill and educational levels.
  • Plan for contingencies – what economic foundation (skills, assets, resources) are left in place even if a major employer departs?

Here’s the link for the full article:

http://www.governing.com/topics/economic-dev/measuring-economic-development-without-depending-jobs.html

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IU Faculty Member David Wilkes-Making a Difference

By Tony Armstrong

I want to introduce you to another IU faculty member that is making a difference…

For those with advanced lung disease or damage, a lung transplant has been a way to buy a little more time. In fact, patients who receive newly transplanted lungs have just a 50/50 chance of being alive five years later.

Professor David Wilkes, who has devoted his career to improving lung transplant survival rates, may have discovered a way to improve the odds.

Read more about what Dr. Wilkes is doing to make a difference.

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Interview with Bill Stephan on New Bloomington Tech Corridor

By Tony Armstrong

IU Vice President Bill Stephan, Bart Peterson from Eli Lilly and other community and business leaders  joined us at the IUIC in Bloomington for a robust discussion on the Life Sciences sector in Indiana. Bill was interviewed immediately after the panel discussion.

We could not be more enthused about the prospects for growth in the Indiana University Technology Park in Bloomington.  University and private sector interests will combine to draw upon IU’s deep IT resources and facilities that can accomodate life sciences research activity.

Watch the interview with Bill 

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Are Universities Underestimating the Economic Impact of Academic Research?

IU researchers David B. Audretsch and Taylor Aldridge argue that universities are underestimating the number of start-up companies that have formed to market university research by as much as 30 percent.

Professor Audretsch, a distinguished professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington and director of the Institute for Development Strategies, and Aldridge, a research fellow at the Institute, focused their research on scientists who received patents from research funded by the National Cancer Institute.

They found that the work of as many as 30 percent of these professors found its way to market without the assistance of their universities’ technology transfer offices.

Why do university researchers bypass their technology transfer offices? The reasons that Audretsch and Aldridge cite include:

• The different approaches required to market an invention versus a discovery
• Some universities lack the technology transfer resources to effectively serve faculty
• A university culture that does not place economic development among its core missions

University research is vital to creating the local and regional companies that will help Indiana and the nation thrive in the 21st century. If you’re an IU researcher with a promising discovery, we urge you to contact the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation to explore your options.

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Four IU Start-Up Companies Named as Success Stories by the Science Coalition

Congratulations to IURTC clients CS-Keys, Fast Diagnostics, Immuneworks, and Therametric Technologies. All were listed among 100 federal funding success stories by the Science Coalition, a nonprofit and nonpartisan group that supports federal funding of scientific research in the United States.

The report underlines the vital connection between university research, investment, and economic development. The 100 companies named now employ more than 100,000 people and earn revenues of nearly $100 billion a year.

What Executives Make of Innovation – BusinessWeek

By Bill Stephan

A  Business Week article I thought you might enjoy.

As executives breathe out after surviving the Great Recession, they find they’re gazing on a New Reality. The meltdown accelerated many trends that had been merely budding pre-crisis. There has been no time for slow and steady adaptation to the pressures and challenges of a new business landscape. The world changed in a flash. Perhaps the single best tool to negotiate the new environment successfully? Innovation.

Read the entire article:

What Executives Make of Innovation – BusinessWeek.

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The “Proof-of-Concept Center”: A Good Idea, But Not a New One

By Tony Armstrong

The New York Times has discovered something that IU officials have known for years—that business innovation is, can, and should be driven by university research.

In The Idea Incubator Goes to Campus, Bob Tedeschi describes the “proof-of-concept center” as a new model for commercializing research discoveries.

At first glance, the centers look like academic versions of business incubators. But universities are getting involved now at a much earlier stage than incubators typically do. Rather than offering seed money to businesses that already have a product and a staff, as incubators usually do, the universities are harvesting great ideas and then trying to find investors and businesspeople interested in developing them further and exploring their commercial viability.

It’s a great idea. And, in Indiana, it’s been happening for years.

The Indiana University Emerging Technology Center has launched more than three dozen start-up companies.

IU has been in the incubator business since 2003, when it opened the IU Emerging Technologies Center in Indianapolis. It launched a Bloomington incubator in 2009. Now, IU is even providing seed capital to promising clients through the Innovate Indiana Fund.

Tedeschi cites proof-of-concept centers at MIT and University of California at San Diego as leaders in the field. He notes that San Diego’s William J. von Liebig Center “has helped start 26 companies that have created more than 180 jobs” since 2001.

Not to brag, but the IURTC has been in business since 1997 and has helped create nearly 40 companies and more than 500 Indiana jobs. Last year, it celebrated the $100 million sale of one of the first incubator tenants—ANGEL Learning.

Can universities drive business innovation? I’d say IU has already proven the concept.

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How do you create an Innovation Economy? Find out here.

By Tony Armstrong

Ask the average citizen about Silicon Valley, and they’ll probably reference Apple, Google, or Xerox. Ask them about the Hoosier State, and they will likely mention John Mellencamp, the Indy 500, and basketball.

It’s a perception problem, but it’s also an opportunity. Indiana University researchers have been quietly forging scientific and technological breakthroughs for decades—from cavity-fighting fluoride toothpaste to the cancer treatment that saved the life of cyclist Lance Armstrong. Now we’re putting that brainpower to work for Indiana. (more…)