Felix Rodrigues Lima, KSN-TV -- WICHITA, Kansas – The city is looking to find ways to diversify its economy by finding other industries that could grow and thrive in the Air Capital. The City Council approved funding to identify what they call industrial clusters that could help create jobs for thousands of people. It’s looking to a consulting firm called Starnet to study industrial job clusters that could be expanded and potentially create jobs.
Location plays a critical role in the success and sustainability of a high-technology venture, whether it’s a startup capitalizing on the proximity of venture capitalists, a company in search of bright talent, or an established brand that continues to expand.
Western North Carolina has faced economic challenges for decades. Industries that once brought prosperity – tobacco, textiles, furniture manufacturing – have waned. As a largely rural area, it is not an easy place to develop new industry. Rather than continue bidding wars with other locations to chase "the next big thing," the region decided to focus on its local assets, and businesses with an organic connection to the region. A cluster of outdoor equipment companies has emerged, one that taps the recreational opportunities of the Blue Ridge Mountains as it competes on a national scale.
Rockford, IL, a once-proud manufacturing town, recently uncovered a potential solution to its decades-long economic struggle: a quietly thriving aerospace and aviation cluster. Local officials have grown fond of remarking that no airplane today flies without a component made in or around Rockford. And today, factions that hardly interacted before are finding ways to pull in the same direction -- even competing aviation companies. "The business community is stepping up in a new way," according to UTC Aerospace Systems, one such member of this effort.
In just six years, North Louisiana has created a fast-growing cyber cluster in a region historically dominated by manufacturing and oil and gas. The catalyst for this stems from the combined vision of local and state leaders to diversify the region's economy and inculcate a knowledge-based workforce.
SARTA (Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance) is invigorating agriculture technology ventures through its new AgStart cluster program. Drawing on California's core tech and agriculture sectors, AgStart facilitates the research and development of ag tech companies and entrepreneurs. Said SARTA CEO Meg Arnold: "There is a huge, and growing, need for agriculture technology to increase productivity and yield, improve cost effectiveness, and enhance the efficient use of water, energy, and land. Sacramento ...
The world’s leading technology clusters grew organically, over the course of decades. High tech clusters like those around MIT in Boston and Stanford in Silicon Valley have long benefited from commercializing innovations coming out of nearby universities and labs. This in turn spurred regional economic growth, boosted institutional wealth, and provided a magnet for research talent. The question for countries and regions seeking to employ such practices is how to capitalize on their assets to encourage their own innovation ecosystems.
Developed as part of the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project, New Carolina: Private Leadership in Economic Development is a study on how private sector leaders in South Carolina embraced cluster development to upgrade their region’s competitiveness. It also provides real-world examples of how cluster-based economic development works as part of modern economic policy at the regional level.