Michael Porter: The Relationship between Innovation & Living Standards

During the 1990s, Americans found a way to do what seemed no longer possible — grow the economy, create jobs, and increase the standard of living, without driving up inflation. Much of the credit goes to the nation’s ability to develop and commercialize new technology. The result: one of the most robust periods of economic expansion and prosperity of the past century.
Today, the nation is experiencing an economic downturn. While fiscal and monetary policies pump dollars into the economy to boost the level of activity, innovation infuses the economy with growth-incubating new ideas, new products, services, and technologies. National policies and national investment choices have much to do with the growth and capacity of the American economy. For innovation, however, the real locus of innovation is at the regional level. The vitality of the U.S. economy then depends on creating innovation and competitiveness at the regional level.
In healthy regions, competitiveness and innovation are concentrated in clusters, or interrelated industries, in which the region specializes. The nation’s ability to produce high-value products and services that support high wage jobs depends on the creation and strengthening of these regional hubs of competitiveness and innovation.
Led by our buddy Michael Porter, the “Clusters of Innovation Initiative” examined five regions around the country: Atlanta, Pittsburgh, the Research Triangle, San Diego and Wichita.
One key point: “Growth is not the same as prosperity. Growth is only desirable if the standard of living of citizens rises. High growth per se often leads to a rising cost of living that erodes prosperity and degrades natural resources and physical infrastructure that support quality of life.”
My question: are there virtual innovation clusters out there as well? Clusters tied by purpose, but not geography? Is there a way to create and strengthen a virtual innovation cluster?
Read the report, and let’s talk >>

One Reply to “Michael Porter: The Relationship between Innovation & Living Standards”

  1. This is an important point–the proximate innovation environment needs to interact with the virtual innovation environment. Designing regional innovation “ecosystems” offer a framework for synthesis and a trajectory forward.

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