Overcoming Innovation Vertigo towards Innovation Districts and their Positive Multiplier Effects

Overcoming Innovation Vertigo towards Innovation Districts and their Positive Multiplier Effects for U.S.

Innovation Barometer 2014 ; Innovative Companies Move Back to the City

You might have seen: The much-awaited and comprehensive Innovation Barometer, which surveyed 3,200 business executives, confirms that most business leaders believe they need to play a role in encouraging innovation and disruption in the workplace.

“This represents a shift from last year, when the survey revealed anxiety among executives as they attempted to navigate a highly competitive and fast-paced globalized innovation environment,” according to the barometer. “Many experienced ‘innovation vertigo’; they were unsure of how to move forward with disruptive ideas, products and services.”

Executives are more eager this year to promote innovation in the workplace, and they cite anticipating market revolutions, retaining talented employees, and adopting emerging technologies as the most important catalysts for this sort of innovation.

But you might have missed: Some of the largest tech giants are headquartered in suburbs. Microsoft is outside of Seattle, and Google’s centered in Mountain View, California. But a growing number of tech companies are moving back into the major cities, according to an article by Bruce Katz and Julie Wagner of the Brookings Institute.

One reason for the shift from suburbs to urban centers is seeking out top talent. The number of young, educated people moving to their city’s downtown center has grown by 26 percent between 2000 and 2009, making the move to the city attractive for top technology firms.

“The result is the growth of Innovation Districts—geographic areas that cluster together advanced research institutions and R&D-intensive companies with start-up firms and business accelerators,” according to the article. “These districts are compact and transit-connected, while offering mixed-use development. They also concentrate three core asset types—economic, physical, and networking—that, together, supercharge the innovation economy.”

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