- NC Department of Commerce, “Tracking Innovation: North Carolina Innovation Index 2015“
- MIT: Creating University-Based Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Evidence from Emerging World Leaders (2014)
- Kauffman Foundation (2015) Measuring an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
- The Rainforest Scorecard: A Practical Framework for Growing Innovation Potential
- City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE): A resource for city leadership
Innovation is the modern economy’s fuel. As the primary source of new technologies, products, services, and practices that yield value, innovation is what creates new industries, makes existing ones globally competitive, and sustains economic growth and improved societal well-being. To ensure our state’s future competitiveness and economic prosperity, we must increase our state’s overall innovation capacity well beyond the Triangle and Charlotte. To encourage innovation capacity growth, the Institute for Emerging Issues and nine other statewide Partners have launched InnovateNC, an intensive two-year, cross-city learning collaborative supporting five North Carolina communities — Asheville, Greensboro, Pembroke, Wilson, Wilmington and the Carolina Coast—as they expand their innovation economies. The initiative also serves as a model for other communities, publicly disseminating products, processes, and tools for those interested in the same goal.
InnovateNC Community Innovation Asset Map (New and Available for Download!)
Thanks to the generous support of the Institute for Emerging Issues, RTI International, the NC Department of Commerce’s Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, and all of the InnovateNC partners, the InnovateNC Community Innovation Asset Map is being offered to communities as a FREE download during its initial launch. Additional tools are planned for release by the end of 2017 at InnovateNC.org. The Asset Map is a first-of-its-kind, turnkey tool for communities of all sizes, seeking to enhance their innovation ecosystems, and is a community’s first step for developing a concrete roadmap to grow their innovation economy meaningfully.
A media kit is available for download below.
In February 2015, the Emerging Issues Forum, Innovation Reconstructed, attracted more than 1,000 innovation experts, advocates, and entrepreneurs from across the state and around the world to explore how North Carolina companies and communities will innovate to compete in an era of global connections, transformative technology, and constant change.
We learned that North Carolina is mired mid-pack among the nation’s states in overall innovation capacity and effectiveness. A recent Institute for Emerging Issues study, using SAS Visual Analytics software, found that North Carolina sits well below the top quartile of states and even trails the U.S. average on key innovation indicators, including output and compensation. Current trend lines indicate that North Carolina will fail to reach the top quartile unless we involve many more people in more of our cities in a broad innovation turn-around effort through which we reconstruct our innovation model and expand innovation capacity. North Carolina’s roster of leading innovation cities must expand beyond the Triangle and Charlotte.
We know that North Carolina cities beyond Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte are seeking to bolster their innovation capacity by adopting the new innovation district model. However, some struggle to develop the scale and complexity needed to foster positive short-term outcomes and create the conditions required for long-term innovation success.
Goals and Benefits of InnovateNC
InnovateNC aims to enhance innovation-related economic development and to advance critical new knowledge related to that goal. As a result, InnovateNC will:
- Increase innovation capacity, activity and connectivity;
- Broaden the demographic and sectoral diversity of those engaged in the innovation economy;
- Increase collaborative cross-city learning and partnerships; and
- Increase visibility and financial support for innovation district efforts.
- InnovateNC will accomplish these objectives by providing the following benefits (valued at more than $250,000) to each InnovateNC city:
- Information about, and preparation to take advantage of, existing and newly proposed innovation programs at the state and national level;
- Guided development of a coherent strategic plan to accelerate inclusionary innovation;
- Valuable new relationships and connections via in-person cross-city convenings and shared web platforms;
- Data-driven asset mapping and gap analysis of the existing local innovation ecosystem and measurements of progress over time;
- Extensive technical assistance to advance local projects while building the base for a longer-term talent development pipeline;
- Access to extensive best practice resources; and
- Substantial exposure through storytelling programming.
To learn more about InnovateNC, click here.
The Partners thank and acknowledge the Research Triangle Foundation and the Kenan Creative Collaboratory for their financial support to launch InnovateNC. The Kenan Creative Collaboratory is an initiative of the four Kenan Institutes and their host institutions: Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise (UNC-Chapel Hill), William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science (NC State University), Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts (UNC School of the Arts), and Kenan Institute for Ethics (Duke University).
For questions about InnovateNC contact InnovateNC lead Sarah Langer Hall with the Institute for Emerging Issues at 919-513-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful to our partners for their support of InnovateNC:
Organizing Partner: Institute for Emerging Issues
- Brookings Insitute (March 22, 2017). Beyond millennials: Valuing older adults’ participatin in innovation districts.
- MDC (April 2016) North Carolina’s Economic Imperative: Building an Infrastructure of Opportunity A report for the John M. Belk Endowment
- Welcoming America. Seeds of Growth: Building Your Local Economy by Supporting Immigrant Entrepreneurs.
- Community Organizing for Innovation-Driven Economic Development
- Kania, John & Kramer, Mark (Winter 2011). Stanford Social Innovation Review. “Collective Impact.”
- Hibbets, Jason (2013). “The Foundation for an Open Source City.”
- Bristol, Buckworth, Jain, McDade, “ShareNC: Encouraging Inclusive Innovation and Equitable Economic Development.” Prepared for the NC Budget & Tax Center and PPT
- Center for Global Policy Solutions, “The Color of Entrepreneurship: Why the Racial Gap Among Firms Costs the U.S. billions” (2016)
- CED, “Innovators Report” (2015)
- Brookings Institute, Rise of Innovation Districts
- North Carolina Civic Health Index
- Pittsburgh Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation
- Greensboro 2015 State of the City Report
We’ve received great media coverage throughout North Carolina for InnovateNC, a key 2015 Post-Forum initiative to expand our state’s innovation strength. A sampling of coverage is below:
- Innovate Program Heads Into Second Year
- Blair Levin Keynote in Wilson, NC “Make America Great – With Great Broadband”
- WECT-TV6, “My turn: Innovate NC talks economic opportunities”
- TWC, “InnovateNC to improve statewide economy”
- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, “InnovateNC Tour Looks At Economic Development Resources In Area”
- WWAY-TV3, “First-in-the-nation economic initiative makes first stop in Wilmington”
- WECT-TV6, “InnovateNC wants to expand economic development”
- Fox Wilmington, “InnovateNC coming to Wilmington”
- Raleigh News & Observer: Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin, “Tools exist to help NC spur local innovation, entrepreneurship“
Selection of Participating Communities (announced 9-4-2015):
- Raleigh News & Observer: Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin, “Creating Innovation Hubs Key to NC’s Economic Future”
- WUNC, “Big Push to Innovate! Five NC Cities Selected”
- Triangle Business Journal, “5 Metros to Get Innovative Boost from N.C. State”
- Businessnc.com, “5 NC Cities Picked for Innovations Program”
- WRAL TechWire, “Institute for Emerging Issues Picks 5 Cities for Economic Development Project”
- Asheville Citizen-Times, “Asheville Named an InnovateNC Community”
- Greensboro News & Record, “Greensboro to Participate in Statewide Economic Development Initiative”
- Triad Business Journal, “5 Metros — Including One in Triad — to get Innovative Boost from N.C. State”
- Fayetteville Observer, “Our View: Pembroke Revival Gets Help from Some Big Guns”
- The Robesonian, “Pembroke Picked for Innovative Project”
- UNC-Pembroke, “UNCP, Pembroke Partners Selected as InnovateNC Community”
- WWAYTV3.com, “Wilmington, Neighbors Get Grant for InnovateNC Program”
- StarNewsOnline, “Wilmington Selected for Jobs Program”
- WBTV.com, “Wilmington Chosen for Intensive Statewide Learning Collaborative Initiative”
- WECT.com, “Wilmington Chosen for Intensive Statewide Learning Collaborative Initiative”
- University of North Carolina News, “InnovateNC Grant to Strengthen Innovation Ecosystem in Marine and Life Sciences at UNCW”
- Wilson Times, “Wilson Named InnovateNC City”
Initial Announcement and RFP Release:
- Triangle Business Journal: “New NC State plan to spread innovation economies…”
- UNC-TV’s North Carolina Now with Anita Brown-Graham and John Hardin
- TWC’s Capital Tonight with Anita Brown-Graham and Christopher Gergen (begins 8:50)
- Courier-Tribune, Asheboro: “IEI announces “InnovateNC” project”
- NC Stem Center: “IEI announces “InnovateNC” project”
- TWC’s In Depth with Anita Brown-Graham
- The News Journal: “InnovateNC calls for community applications”
- WRAL TechWire, “InnovateNC calls for NC community applications”
- Doing Better: More effort needed to diversity NC’s high-tech workforce
- A shifting entrepreneurial landscape in North Carolina
- Creating innovation hubs key to NC’s economic future
- $75 Million to Boost Equitable Capital for Small Businesses
- Urban Innovator: Randy McShepard
- The Future of Crowdfunding and Minority-Owned Businesses
- How Cody Rouge is becoming Detroit’s leading neighborhood for green infrastructure
- e51 Bootcamp Is Next Step In Increasing Female Inclusivity in Triangle Startups
- The Next Generation of Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network
- How Can Collective Impact Catalyze Inclusive Innovation?
- Refugees Build New Lives and Businesses in Cleveland
- The Importance of Building Understanding and Trust to Advance Inclusive Innovation