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bridgingThe Obama Administration's promise to launch innovation hubs to catalyze business innovation in economically hard-hit areas of the country has been cash-strapped and slow to materialize -- but don't count the program out just yet, says Marc Berejka, a former Microsoft lobbyist and now a top policy advisor in President Obama's U.S. Commerce Department. I caught up with Berejka at the Supernova 2010 conference Friday at The Wharton School in Philadelphia. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:

MS: You said during one of the Supernova panels today that President Obama still wants to see what the government can do to help kick-start business innovation clusters in areas of the country that have been hit hard by the economic downturn. What's the status of this initiative?

MB: There's been a pretty common understanding in the commercial and policy space that there are parts of the country that have thrived on new innovations and new technologies. Silicon Valley, of course, is one such area, where a lot of tech geeks and business people have been combining their ideas, resulting in phenomenal successes. And those clusters exist elsewhere -- along Route 128 near Boston, in Triangle Park in North Carolina, and in Seattle, around Microsoft and Boeing. And so the question is, if these clusters arise organically and create all sorts of new jobs and opportunities, is there something in that which can be emulated elsewhere around the country? How can policy levers be used to foster that type of economic clustering elsewhere, where job prospects might not be as good as they are in these innovation hotbeds?

To read the full, original article click on this link: Obama's Business Innovation Hubs: Down, But Not Out | Social Enterprise

Author: Marcia Stepanek