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Featured Indicator: StatsAmerica’s Innovation Intelligence Index

StatsAmerica’s Innovation Intelligence Index (II3) is a great tool for exploring regional data related to innovation and entrepreneurship. II3 provides a set of data and tools that can be used to understand a region’s weaknesses, strengths, and potential.

The headline index is calculated from five core indices that cover innovation inputs and outputs, with each index being weighted equally:

Innovation Inputs

  • Human Capital and Knowledge Creation: educational attainment, patents, STEM occupations, etc.
  • Business Dynamics: establishment formation, expansions/contractions, births/deaths, etc.
  • Business Profile: venture capital, foreign direct investment, proprietorship, etc.

Innovation Outputs

  • Employment and Productivity: industry performance, gross domestic product, etc.
  • Economic Well-Being: income, poverty, unemployment, migration, etc.

The index is best used as a comparison tool. In other words, a specific index level is not tied to a particular innovation outcome. Index scores for a region are relative to the United States, however, regions can also be compared against other benchmarks or peer regions.

II3 is available for counties, metro areas, economic development districts, and states.

What is the data telling us?

The index comes with a mapping tool that allows you to quickly view the index headline or any of its components at the state, county, metro, and economic development district levels.

Source: StatsAmerica

Selecting a particular geography allows you to hone in on more specific data and details related to that region’s level of innovation. In the below example, Wake County, NC, home to Raleigh, is selected. With an innovation index of 145.7, the county is the top 16th county in terms of innovation capacity. Key takeaways for each of the five core indices are concisely summarized, with the county ranking highest on the Human Capital and Knowledge Creation Index.

Source: StatsAmerica

Why is this important?

Understanding regional strengths related to innovation and entrepreneurship can help advance local and regional economic development strategies. This tool allows economic developers and other stakeholders to quickly see where their region falls in terms of relative innovation capacity compared to its peers.

Preview Image Source: Adobe Spark and Camoin Associates