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University Engagement, Innovation Systems, and Regional Economic Development


EKA helps universities, state/local governments, and economic development agencies to envision and enact complex strategies for revitalization and competitiveness of metropolitan or regional economies, based on leveraging knowledge assets for Innovation-Based Economic Development.

Engagement Innovation ServicesThese engagements often have included special strategic focus on industry cluster development and ways in which institutions participate in and support such development. EKA’s work has included planning initiatives focused on:

  • Life Sciences
  • Alternative / Renewable Energy and Sustainability
  • IT/Communications
  • Advanced Manufacturing.

EKA’s clients for this type of work usually are major research universities. Clients also include large-scale regional alliance organizations in which universities, community colleges, private colleges, K-12 school systems, state government, local government, economic development agencies, community foundations, and business organizations are clients/stakeholders.

EKA guides clients in formulating institutional strategies for economic engagement, regional innovation eco-systems, and place strategies (technology parks, innovation centers, knowledge communities). This includes a wide variety of projects—usually involving vision and strategies for governance, market focus, programs, land use/facilities, and financial elements.

  • Integrated innovation eco-systems (resources for technology development, IP, entrepreneurship, and early-stage capital)Economic and community/civic engagement strategies
  • University-centered regional economic and industry cluster strategies
  • Corporate organization and governance models and entities
  • Real estate and land use strategies
  • Market / financial feasibility studies
  • Work force development / training needs assessments
  • Strategic business plans for specific facilities/land initiatives—research parks or innovation campuses/centers; technology incubators or accelerators; research centers and institutes