Innovation-Led Economic Development in Howard County Maryland Using Cluster Analysis, Network Analysis and Spatial Analysis to Identify Economic Development Strategies
Dempwolf, C. Scott
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Identifying and fostering the growth of innovative companies has long been a focus of economic development. However, traditional methods of economic analysis often fail to identify sources of innovative growth because they are not designed to do so. Innovation is by definition ever-evolving and defies methods that focus on slow growth and historic trends. By investigating the nature of innovation, it is clear that methods to foster growth must themselves be innovative and able to capture change and complex relationships. The focus of the Community Planning Studio was to identify innovation-led economic development strategies that would help spur innovation in Howard County, Maryland. In doing so, the class focused on a variety of economic data analysis methods to identify innovation activity in the county. The methods included traditional economic analysis which incorporated demographic, employment, education and commuting data. U.S Cluster Mapping was also used to identify industry clusters in the county- a method used by most economic development agencies.