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Connect to Compete: Brooking’s Brings Innovation Districts Study to Philadelphia

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Economy, Frontpage 1, home-inthenews-1, Select Greater Philadelphia Council

In the spring of 2015, a group of 10 major Philadelphia institutions and firms — Comcast, Drexel University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, FMC, Independence Blue Cross, PECO, University City Science Center, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Vanguard — came together to support the Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at Brookings in undertaking an analysis of the emerging innovation district in University City and western Center City.

Brookings — with analytic help from Mass Economics in Cambridge, Mass. — conducted an extensive, quantitative assessment (“audit”) of the innovation district. The resulting Emerging Innovation District Pilot Study, released on May 18, 2017, outlines the audit findings and makes four recommendations with the aim to build a more innovative, entrepreneurial, and inclusive innovation community in the years to come:

  1. Design and implement a series of initiatives aimed at growing the city’s advanced industry clusters, starting with precision medicine
  2. Launch an Anchor Firm Entrepreneurship Initiative
  3. Coordinate and expand anchor-based skill-building, education, and procurement initiatives
  4. Form a connected-corridor taskforce for University City–Center City

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia is committed to leading the community dialogue to determine the best strategies to put these recommendations into action.

The Chamber previewed the release of the study with our Board of Directors on the morning of May 18. In addition to a presentation of findings and recommendations from Brookings, Mayor Jim Kenney was in attendance to respond to the report, recognizing the significant economic opportunities for Philadelphia and calling for more inclusive innovation practices moving forward.

After the meeting, Brookings held a gathering at the Chamber’s offices to officially release the study and field questions from the media and the community. Watch the gathering in full via the video below and catch up on the conversation on social media.

Report Launch Gathering

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, the Chamber hosted Brookings for the release of their report, Connect to Compete: How the University City-Center City innovation district can help Philadelphia excel globally and serve locally:

Here’s what people had to say on Twitter, find more using #innovationdistricts:


Download the Pilot Study »

Read Brookings’ Press Release »

Read the Partner Press Release »

Download Project Background Factsheet »

Read Mayor Kenney’s Remarks about the Study »


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