CCEDC: For Innovation Economy, Let’s Walk the Walk

A report released this week by the Brookings Institution says Pennsylvania’s innovation economy—the part of our economy dealing with new technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and industry-changing innovation—has gone stagnant.

The report blames a few factors, such as diminished investment by the state government in early-stage companies and below-average R&D expenditures by PA-based companies, and goes on to argue that to boost its innovation sector performance, Pennsylvania should borrow economic development strategies from competing states.

While we agree with the report’s emphasis that a robust innovation economy is an engine for broader economic growth and well-being, the authors might have done well to look at successful innovation efforts going on more locally. As the report says, not all areas of the state are lagging.

We have found that being innovative in our action and policies, and not simply replicating what goes on elsewhere, is critical for supporting tech and entrepreneurial growth. Chester County has found success through a collaborative, multi-faceted approach that compounds our existing assets, addresses the unique needs of our communities, and lays the groundwork for sustainable innovation growth.

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