Adam Handshy, Director of Programs and Business Development, recently completed a course with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) called Technology-Led Economic Development. The technical course focused on the competitive advantages of regions and the role of economic developers and community stakeholders in building an innovative ecosystem.
“Where the former industrial economy revolved around land, buildings and low-cost materials, in our new, knowledge-based economy, we’re now talking about innovation, support for entrepreneurs, commercialization and technology transfer as the key drivers of economic growth,” Handshy said. “Fortunately, Lawrence already has a lot of the component parts needed to be successful in this economy. It’s our role as economic developers to bring them together.”
Some other high points of the course included:
– The need for collaboration between industry, education, and public sector is critical for success
– Technology touches virtually all industry sectors, from cyber issues to agriculture
– Technology impacts economic development in many ways, including workforce development, business recruitment, the growth of existing industry, and where we look for new sites, buildings, etc.
– The role of economic developers is to foster and support an innovation ecosystem
The course also touched on development incubators, accelerators and research parks, along with a focus on partnerships with higher education. The (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers.
About the Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence & Douglas County
The Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence & Douglas County is a partner of The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, the University of Kansas, and the Bioscience & Technology Business Center. The mission of the EDC is to provide leadership and advocacy to the community in order to achieve job and wage growth, workforce development, an expanded tax base, and economic prosperity for the citizens of Lawrence and Douglas County.