University of Southern Indiana

Economic Development

I-69 Innovation CorridorI-69

Regions with high adaptive capacity tend to have relatively strong and sustained performance in income growth, wage levels, job creation, and the number of business establishments.  Dynamism in successful regional economies is also associated with the existence of innovation clusters.  Innovation clusters are characterized by companies, support services, and specialized infrastructure that reflect a culture of networks, global connections, and sustainable innovation.  The more innovative the industry clusters are within a region the more likely the region will have a high adaptive capacity.  An examination of the I-69 Corridor Region with regard to its performance trends, asset base, innovation capacity, and clusters of economic activity provides the context for evaluating the future impact of the I-69 highway in the region.

    • Vision:  To develop a culture and environment that supports a regional I-69 Innovation Corridor from Evansville to Crane
    • Goal:  To increase our Innovation Index Score by 20% by 2025
    • Task Forces:
      • Brainpower:  Start with sound education and imaginative, entrepreneurial educators that can generate 21st century brainpower with skills to support globally competitive businesses. 
      • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Networks:  Business development networks (clusters, entrepreneurial support, venture capital, mentors) capable of converting brainpower into wealth through innovation and entrepreneurship. 
      • Quality, Connected Places:  Mobile people and companies that are innovative will choose to locate in places with high quality of life and that are connected to the rest of the world. 
      • Branding Experiences:  Regions need to tell its story effectively, defining most distinctive attributes.   Brain drain can be avoided by showing young population that region has a future that is vibrant and exciting. 
      • Civic Collaboration:  Leaders skilled in the art and discipline of collaboration. Fb _icon _325x 325

Investing in Manufacturing Companies (IMCP) IMCP Cover

The IMCP initiatve is a government wide program that looks to optimize grants from over 10 different agencies by helping communities cultivate an environment for businesses to create well -paying manufacturing jobs in regions across the country and thereby accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing. A consortium was formed and convened by the University of Southern Indiana who crafted a proposal to apply for one of 12 nation-wide designations as a 'Manufacturing Community'.  This designation is "designed to reward communities that demonstrate best practices in attracting and expanding manufacturing by bringing together key local stakeholders and using long-term planning that integrates targeted investments across a community's industrial ecosystem to create broad-based prosperity.  The proposal was a detailed data-driven assessment of the local industrial ecosystem, as it exists today, what is missing, and an evidence-based path to development that could make a region uniquely competitive.  The proposed development involved strong coordination across the following subcategories:

    1. Workforce and training
    2. Supplier network
    3. Research and Innovation
    4. Infrastruture/ Site development
    5. Trade and International Investment
    6. Operational improvement and capital access

Based on planning meetings conducted within the consortium, the geographic scope selected for the manufacturing community designation includes counties along I-69 from Henderson, KY to Bloomington, IN.  The selected key technologies and/ or supply chains (KTS) selected to base the analysis and implementation strategies are:

IMCP Img (1)

The selection of these KTS was based on industrial sectors within this region that currently had Location Quotients in the top third of the nation.  We also considered sectors that could impact a broad spectrum of industries and businesses within the geographic scope and that were connected to emerging trends and technologies.


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