A better toy for tracking capacity to innovate

January 28, 2011
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If you like comparing places, Indiana University has a nifty website for tracking counties and metro areas by their potential to innovate.

The Innovation Index developed by the Indiana Business Research Center in the Kelley School of Business has been updated to look at strengths from four angles:

—human capital (education, population growth, knowledge-occupations)

—economic dynamics (investment, broadband density, business churn, business size)

—productivity and employment (change in tech jobs, overall job growth, GDP per worker, patents)

—economic well-being (poverty, unemployment, migration, income, job compensation)

The IBRC discourages using the index to “keep score” or “report regional rankings.” But who can resist?

Hamilton County, Indiana’s power county due to its high concentration of professionals, ranks above Cobb County outside of Atlanta and Ozaukee County north of Milwaukee, but below Douglas County near Denver and Johnson County, Kan., the suburban enclave across the Missouri River from Kansas City, Mo.

Also doing well in Indiana are Kosciusko County, home to Warsaw and its nucleus of medical device companies; Tippecanoe (Purdue University); Bartholomew (Cummins); and Ripley (Hill-Rom and Batesville Caskets).

With innovation becoming ever more critical to building companies, jobs and economies, this site has something for everyone.

 

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