Great Lakes Region Can Become the National Leader in the Next Economy

October 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Brookings’ researchers contend that the U.S. region worst hit by the Great Recession has the potential to spearhead the U.S. towards a Next Economy. Unlike the U.S.’ old economy, which was driven by highly-leveraged, domestic consumption, the Great Lakes region can build an export-oriented economy, powered by a low-carbon energy strategy and driven by innovation that benefits all Americans. The report outlines the many resources that can position the Great Lakes region as an economic leader. They include global trade networks, clean energy/low carbon capacity and innovation infrastructure. The report also highlights the challenges faced by the region due to its declining economic health. To achieve this economic transformation, the region will have to address the deficient transportation infrastructure for trade, the concentration of energy-intensive industries, the lack of seed capital and the low educational attainment levels. The report provides three key Next economy drivers that will help federal, state and metropolitan leaders to maximize the region’s promise.

The report outlines the many resources that can position the Great Lakes region as an economic leader. They include:

Global trade networks: Many of region’s cities rank among the top cities in terms of the share of their metro output that is exported;

Clean energy/low carbon capacity: Their blue-green potential due to the Great Lakes, waterways and abundant natural wind/solar resources position the region well in renewable energy generation; and

Innovation infrastructure: The region’s metros are home to 21 of the 32 major public and private research universities, which attract substantial federal research investment. Each year almost 36% of all U.S. science and engineering degrees come from schools in the region. The region also registers almost 33% of all U.S. patents.

These strengths provide the region with opportunities that are necessary to achieve success in the Next Economy. However, the research indicates that these strengths must work in a coordinated effort to achieve that success.

The report also highlights the challenges faced by the region due to its declining economic health. To achieve this economic transformation, the region will have to address the deficient transportation infrastructure for trade, the concentration of energy-intensive industries, the lack of seed capital and the low educational attainment levels. To resolve these challenges, the report provides three key Next Economy drivers that will help federal, state and metropolitan leaders to maximize the region’s promise:

  • Invest in the assets that matter: innovation, human capital, and infrastructure: Even though budget cuts have become a regular occurrence, the researchers argue, Long-range economic health is not just a matter of spending less, but spending and investing to spur growth. The region should concentrate its efforts on developing regional innovation clusters, instituting workforce development at community colleges and smart spending on infrastructure to facilitate trade.
  • Devise new public-private institutions that are market-oriented and performance-driven: Government leaders should be prepared to go to voters to support bond issues or dedicated tax sources for these institutions. They also can consider reorganizing money from programs and systems that are underperforming. These institutions include new infrastructure banks, advanced manufacturing labs, regional energy research and innovation centers and a venture capital fund of funds.
  • Reimagine metros’ form and governance structures to set the right conditions for economic growth: To achieve growth and innovation, cities and states must overhaul their physical redevelopment strategies and local governance structures in the Great Lakes region due to their significant population and economic declines. They must focus on right-sizing communities, green development and infrastructure and governance reform.

Read the Report

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Great Lakes Region. Tags: , , , .

Canadian Government Launches $50M Entrepreneurship Initiative Young Entrepreneurial Stories, Starting in College

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Archives

Calendar

October 2010
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16 other followers


%d bloggers like this: