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The Role of Innovation Intermediaries

Richard A. Bendis, Richard S. Seline and Ethan J. Byler

NOTE: Article originally appeared here: INDUSTRY & HIGHER EDUCATION Vol 22, No 2, April 2008, pp 1–8 (Posted with Permission)
Abstract:

Accelerating innovation to drive economic growth is the foremost goal for technology-based economic development organizations today. Realizing this goal through programmes is challenged by limited and outdated operating models. The authors outline their 21st Century Innovation Intermediary model, which pairs commercialization with regional connectivity to accelerate innovation for regional economic growth.

Richard A. Bendis is President and CEO of Bendis Investment Group LLC, 2600 Centre Square West, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA. Tel:+1215 496 8102. Fax:+1215 977 9618. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Richard S. Seline is the founder and Principal of New Economy Strategies LLC, 1250 24th Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037, USA., and Ethan J. Byler is a Project Consultant with New Economy Strategies.

Technology-based economic development practices regional entities which align a region’s technologies, have a long history in the USA. Initiatives based on the assets and resources so that they come together to use of technology as a platform to develop strategies for produce effective innovation. This article explores the the economies of regions, focused on specific industry shift from the first technology-based ED programmes to clusters, date back to the 1980s. Twenty-five years later, today’s imperative for the 21st century innovation the effects of these initiatives can be seen in such intermediary, and elaborates the components needed for regions as Silicon Valley in California and Route 128 in a successful operating model. In the article we use the Massachusetts, among countless others. Most regions term ‘region’ loosely, but the model presented is now understand and promote their leading applicable to both states and countries. technology-intensive industries and have focused their economic development (ED) efforts so as to exploit their comparative advantages. However, new paradigms are changing the demands of regional competitivenessand will require new practices in ED. The most notable of these is the formation of innovation intermediaries, or regional entities which align a region’s technologies, assets and resources so that they come together to produce effective innovation. This article explores the shift from the first technology-based ED programmes to today’s imperative for the 21st century innovationintermediary, and elaborates the components needed for a successful operating model. In the article we use the term ‘region’ loosely, but the model presented is applicable to both states and countries.