Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation Measurement

Measuring Regional Innovation

The U.S. Council on Competitiveness offers a guidebook to help regions to assess the regional innovation environment. The guidebook outlines a process for collecting data on key measures of innovation that can then be used to drive regional economic development policies and programs. In addition, the guidebook metrics can be used to develop an ongoing evaluation tool for regions tracking their innovation economy.

The Measuring Regional Innovation Guidebook is the culmination of the 2003 – 2005 Regional Competitiveness Initiative. The guidebook is designed to be an easy-to-use tool for economic and workforce development practitioners.

As the guidebook was completed in summer 2005 reflects the most up-to-date information and sources for US regional economic data available at that time. With the exception of some data from the Harvard Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, and information from private companies such as Economy.com, the quantitative data for Regional Innovation Assessments (RIA) is publicly available and free of charge.

The RIA was designed with regional economic analysis and planning in mind. Thus, this guidebook focuses on gathering data at the regional level. For most of the quantitative data, the unit of analysis is the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or a group of MSAs. For data that is not available at the MSA level, suggestions are offered for using alternative approaches. Conducting a regional innovation assessment on an annual or bi-annual basis will provide an opportunity to track improvements in the local innovation environment.

Table of contents

I. Introduction
A Global Challenge
The Answer: Innovation
Regional Innovation
Project Background
II. Analytical Framework
Prosperity: Goal of Economic Development
Productivity and Regional Prosperity
Innovation and Productivity Growth
Inputs to Innovation Capacity
III. The Regional Innovation Assessment
Comparative Data Analysis
Regional Business Survey
Community Leadership Interviews
Regional Assessment Analysis
IV. Appendices
Appendix A: Summary List of Metrics and Sources
Appendix B: The Regional Business Survey
Appendix C: Community Leadership Interview Template