PlusValue with The Global Institute on Innovation Districts. PlusValue formed a partnership with The Global Institute on Innovation Districts (GIID) to contribute to an in-depth empirical research study aimed at identifying what makes an innovation district a success.
GIID is a New York-based non-profit organization, established by a group of field experts in the growth and advancement of innovation districts. It provides empirically grounded research and serves as a selected network to share ideas and strategies on innovation districts.
The study will analyse nine innovation districts: Be’er Sheva (Israel), Medellín (Colombia), Pittsburgh (USA), Buffalo (USA), St. Louis (USA), Winston-Salem (USA), Sheffield (UK), Amsterdam (Holland), Melbourne (Australia). It looks at their evolution along key dimensions such as clustering and convergence processes among their research institutions and companies, the role of intermediaries, the relationship between innovation and built space in terms of walkability, porosity and “business”, and their role in promoting inclusion and regional growth, to name just a few. A mix of desk research and in-situ interviews will be carried out in order to collect original evidence on each of these districts and then it will analyse the results.
This new partnership builds on our current collaboration with the European Commission in the field, including the research study on PPP models for science and technology parks commissioned by the Joint Research Centre (JRC – European Commission) to be published in Q2 2020, and the new study on innovative investment models for sustainable and inclusive urban innovation ecosystems launched by JRC; to be completed by the end of the year.
In addition to the partnership, we are honored to announce that Julie Wagner has joined our network of fellows after our successful collaboration in MIND – Milan Innovation District. She is the founder and president of GIID, and co-author of research papers on innovation districts as for instance: The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America, Report, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institute.
Together with GIID we can make a greater contribution to a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive society for all.
These districts will be analysed looking at their evolution along key dimensions:
– Competitive advantage: how a district differentiate itself from other districts
– Critical mass: density of economic actors, talents, and technologies to effectively translate research into products, processes, and services for the market
– Convergence: the processes and technologies allowing multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral collaboration in the ID and beyond, accelerating innovation
– Quality of place: defined for example looking at the presence of green areas or amenities in place, as well as at the role of space in supporting clustering and convergence processes
– Inclusion: emerging from the number of formal and informal social networks and links created among and across the IDs to increase skills and quality of life of their communities.
The research methodology that follows the design phase, consists of desk research collecting secondary information through literature review including web-sources and grey literature and with the support of the IDs, as well as of primary research, with districts actively engaged in sharing data with GIID research team both in writing and through in-deep interviews. Finally, the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data will be carried out after harmonising the different data-sets.
The final results of the research will be released via a set of publications and toolkits by the Global Institute on Innovation Districts and will eventually determine:
– Characteristics and minimum thresholds for a successful ID
– Benchmarks or collective measures that help determine IDs’ level of maturity
– Success factors and reasons why start-ups and mature companies settle and remain within IDs
– How knowledge and technology can be efficiently transferred within an ID
– Successful models of governance for IDs
– Place-based dimensions and strategies
– How ID’s high-growth turns into inclusive growth
This study aims on the one hand at defining a scientific framework for the evaluation of Innovation Districts, which today are spreading across the globe, and on the other hand, it demonstrates the noticeable stimulus that the presence of an Innovation District represents for a territory either from an economic, scientific and community point of view.