Strategies and Blueprints
Our economic development strategies foster growth and economic mobility by leveraging the innovation, cultural, and human assets of a city, region, or state. In our strategies, we often include industry cluster analyses that track industry growth or decline over time and forward-looking market analyses from RTI’s Innovation Advisors to help determine future areas for competitive growth. Our analysts often scan leading-edge practices to generate new ideas for our clients to consider, and we provide benchmarking analyses to help clients gauge economic performance compared to similar cities, states, and countries.
Experts design strategies to grow industry sectors, such as Tennessee’s life sciences industry, and to create innovation corridors for more broad-based growth within a 100-mile radius of RTI’s headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. We advise emerging economies around the world about ways to ascertain pathways for innovation-driven development.
Data Collection, Analysis, and Metrics
Our clients often seek a stronger understanding of their economic landscape with data. Our data analysts conduct analyses with publicly available data; when needed, we deploy efficient and user-friendly surveys within communities to gain insights into performance and perception that only stakeholders and observers can provide. Our economic development practice provides a powerful combination of data collection, data analysis, and data visualization that blends macro-level information with micro-level nuance. Multiyear talent surveys in economic regions across North Carolina and a State of the Region website and data dashboard for the Tampa Bay Partnership are recent examples of data partnerships.
Independent and objective evaluations help program and policy leaders communicate the impacts of their efforts, understand what is working, and adjust program design to achieve greater impacts. Staff members with backgrounds in policy, planning, and economics work together to design and complete evaluations that bring data-driven insights to funders, program directors, and other stakeholders who seek ways to improve their impacts. Examples of evaluations include an assessment of the economic, environmental and community impacts of Facebook’s U.S. data centers; an entrepreneurial support program of Venture Catalysts in Oregon; process evaluations for city-level programs invested in by the Living Cities Foundation; and the outcomes of broadband and technology investments made by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Together, our three service offerings equip the economic development community with the information and insights to foster more competitive, balanced, and equitable economies for the people who live and work in them.