Tapping the source of 80% of all economic growth

Economist Robert Solow won the Nobel Prize in 1987 for proving that 80% of all economic growth comes from developing and using new technology. That’s a stunning number. It means that if the employers, institutions and government of your city or county are not creating new opportunities or putting new technology to work, you are missing out on 80% of the potential growth in today’s economy. That’s why every place needs an innovation strategy.

Intelligent Communities pursue innovation through a relationship among business, government and such institutions as universities, colleges and hospitals.  This Innovation Triangle or "Triple Helix" helps keep the economic benefits of innovation local and creates an innovation ecosystem that engages the entire community in positive change. 

An innovation strategy may be the furthest thing from your long list of civic priorities. But it breaks down into manageable activities that build a community’s capacity to play the innovation game.

Innovate-Private-Thumb.pngEncouraging private-sector innovation

Convene the stakeholders who can make innovation happen: current business leaders, higher education, healthcare providers, arts and culture. Create structures that encourage and channel technology development and use – makerspaces, incubators and accelerators – in partnership with your stakeholders as well as local activists. Work on funding, because innovation takes seed funding and the creation of “deal flow” for potential investors.

Want to know more? Purchase Building the Innovation Ecosystem, our in-depth report explaining how communities stimulate and channel private-sector innovation and offering examples of programs in action. Go to the store →

Innovate-Public-Thumb.pngDriving public-sector innovation

Investments in innovative technology by government contribute to the ecosystem and produce lots of benefit. Smart technologies can reduce waste, deliver more responsive services and allow staff to handle greater demands with the same number of people. Government innovation also changes the culture of the community – it signals to innovative people and organizations that they have a natural home there and can contribute to growth of new sectors in your economy.

Want to know more? Purchase Innovation and the Public Sector, our in-depth report on how local governments innovate in partnership with the community, illustrated by detailed examples. Go to the store →
Contact ICF. Need answers to specific questions or input to a project? We will be happy to connect with you by email, phone or web conference. Submit a question →