Innovation Cities – Pockets of Innovation

Posted on May 27, 2012. Filed under: business, economic development, innovation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you seen the Fast Company series about “pockets of innovation” in U.S. cities?  I’m enjoying the articles, and think you will to.  Here are a few of the recent stories.

America’s Most Innovative Neighborhood: 15 Square Miles In New Mexico, Population: 0

Hobbs, New Mexico, in the fairly empty and open southeastern part of the state, will be home to CITE – the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation.  This mid-sized city with absolutely no permanent residents is being built by Pegasus Global Holdings as a testbed for “everything about the future of smart cities.”

How Ecodev Persuades Companies To Bring Manufacturing Back To The U.S. (Hint: It’s Cheaper)

Ecodev, a Minnesota-based “boutique” economic development firm, takes on the myth that U.S. manufacturing production can’t be cost-efficient.  It uses a comparative financial model to help client firms assess the cost-benefit of relocating to the U.S.

Why Utah Matters To Virgin, Amazon, and LeBron James

The Foundry, a Salt Lake City/University of Utah “peer-based training ground for entrepreneurs” intended to foster a “creative class” of entrepreneurs to build their businesses in Salt Lake City.

Sure, these may be small efforts, but there are lots of them across the country.  Fast Company has many more stories in its series, and we all know of others in our own local communities.  I’ll give a shout-out to the Los Lunas, New Mexico Live/Work economic development effort, which still contains a thread of its original focus on economic development for home-based businesses.

What’s going on in your community?

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Innovation “test beds” in New Mexico

Posted on May 20, 2012. Filed under: innovation, science & technology | Tags: , , , |

I recently posted about an eHighway pilot planned for Los Angeles.  My own small state is no slouch when it comes to R&D test beds.   You may have heard about the $1 billion technology and testing and evaluation center planned for southeastern New Mexico.  This planned “fully functioning ghost town” (gotta love that characterization) will serve as a test bed whereby public research institutions and private companies can test renewable energy, smart grid technology, wireless telecommunications systems, modern transportation and information and security technology.  Read more at the New Mexico Business Weekly.

Same state, different location

Albuquerque’s Mesa del Sol planned community will soon host a microgrid “aperture center”.  Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) invested about $10 million to build the microgrid, and nine Japanese companies installed  and will test various systems for two years to learn about how a smart grid can function in a real-world setting.  NEDO is also building a microgrid testbed in Los Alamos, NM.  You can read the full story also at the New Mexcio Business Weekly.

Innovative sites like this are undoubtedly springing up in other communities as well.  In addition to serving as test beds for emerging technologies, they also offer economic development benefits to local communities, and can serve as a magnet for other similar businesses.  What’s happening in your region?


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