Guides for StatsAmerica

How can University Centers use StatsAmerica?

Introduction

“University Centers collaborate with other EDA partners, such as Economic Development Districts (EDDs), by providing expertise, applied research, and technical assistance to develop, implement, and support regional strategies that result in job creation, high-skilled regional talent pools, and business expansion in a region’s innovation clusters. UCs focus on one or more of the following areas: regional commercialization efforts, advancing high-growth entrepreneurship, cultivating innovation, encouraging business expansion in a region’s innovation cluster, developing a highly skilled regional workforce, or increasing the resiliency of a region.”

Source: U.S. EDA University Center Program

The EDA University Center (UC) program is intended to leverage the capacities of academic institutions to support entrepreneurship, resilience and inclusive economic prosperity for their regions by providing technical assistance to community economic developers. StatsAmerica has helpful tools and data to facilitate this work, including our profiles and Innovation Intelligence. These tools can be used to find data on a community for various aspects, like demographics, income and wages, education, workforce, and innovation. Regardless of the focus area of a particular UC, StatsAmerica can provide the data it needs to make informed decisions to facilitate economic development in its region.

Regional Profiles

The Counties in Profile or Anywhere USA Profile provide a baseline understanding of the region of study, whether your goals are to support an emergent industry cluster, develop workforce skills or improve economic resiliency. The data on the profiles should augment, but not replace, on-the-ground knowledge about the region, which should be gathered by engaging with the partner organization early and often.

Innovation Intelligence

The Innovation Intelligence Tool provides information on a region’s innovative output and capacity for innovation. It does this by combining a wealth of data centered on innovation, entrepreneurship, human capital, the business environment and the workforce into easy-to-understand indexes. The indexed nature of the data make interpretation a breeze: a value greater than 100 indicates the geography is doing better than the U.S., and a value lower than 100 indicates it’s not doing as well as the U.S.

Innovation Intelligence relates to the primary focus area of many UCs: fostering an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship. UCs can use the tool to get a sense of the region’s innovation capacity and consider what strategies are realistic given its human capital constraints. For example, a region with a low index value for Human Capital and Knowledge Creation—which includes variables relating to educational attainment, STEM degrees creation and population growth—may not have the capacity to grow a high-tech industry cluster. These jobs often require advanced degrees, so the region may need to pursue strategies to increase educational attainment, or encourage in-migration of well-educated residents, before it can do so.