Index project - Background
As economies globalize,
attention among industrial-world policy-makers has focused increasingly on
supporting economic innovation – keeping their economies at the cutting edge, as
older industries and products commoditize and move offshore.
However, there is no
known silver bullet for doing this. Capital formation, university R&D, patenting
and other IP, labor force development, general education, even quality of life
have been the focus of policy. At the same time, system outputs from the
innovation system have proved hard to measure: beyond patents and some
indicators of economic growth, little consensus exists.
The Innovation Index project will address these issues by
providing policymakers with tools to benchmark regions against comparable other
regions (cities, states, regional markets, collections of postal codes), using a
large collection of data sets embedded in a scalable database, and accessible
online. Subsequently, researchers can analyze the data, to investigate leading
indicators of innovation, and causal relationships. Initial deliverables
What makes this project different? Five key advances:
Interactive tools, not static
reports. Online tools allow massively
enhanced access to data.
Current, not dated. Data sets will be continuously updated.
Highly flexible. Users select base region, comparators, industries, and even data sets.
Low marginal cost. Costs per comparison will be an order of magnitude lower
Users can add their own data sets.
Bigger data collection.
More data sets means more metrics, and in
turn more verification
Phase I – completed
Phase II - In preparation
Led by Dr.Robin Gaster, North Atlantic Research and lead researcher on National Academy of
Science SBIR project.
Funding for Phase I
provided by the Advanced Technology Program, National Institute of Standards and
here to download a
PowerPoint walk-through for the Innovation Index web site. please view in