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Successful Economic Development Balances Today’s Needs With Those of Tomorrow

Economic development has traditionally focused on job creation, wealth attraction and business formation that address the wants and needs of today’s businesses and communities. But more and more, practitioners of our field are tuning into the challenges associated with maximizing present-day opportunities while also preserving prosperity and livability for future generations.

March 18, 2015  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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ARPA-E: Funding and Support Available for Energy Innovation

A little-known but highly effective federal agency is helping companies develop energy technologies not yet ready for venture investment.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s version of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency credited with developing the Internet and GPS. While DARPA promotes the development of new technologies for the military, ARPA-E invests in disruptive ideas to create America’s future energy technologies.

January 15, 2015  | by Emmit Owens
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Power Lunch: Outreach to NYC Site Consultants Leaves Nothing on the Table

I’ve always enjoyed business trips to New York City, a crossroads for so much of the world’s economic activity. But last month’s visit to the Big Apple was remarkable – and remarkably valuable.

New York in December was cold, crowded and decked out for the holidays. But the brief fly-in was focused keenly on what has become a central component in our organization’s mission: establishing and building on our region’s relationships with global site consultants. New York is home to many of them. Thus it was the first stop in what will be regular outreach missions to consultants and location advisers.

January 8, 2015  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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Keys to Smart Grid Success? Integration, Public Policy

While technological advances and consumer demands accelerate the pace of innovation in electric power generation, distribution and consumption, it is grid integration and public policies that ultimately will determine how rapidly and well those advances are deployed.

This was the consensus expressed by energy experts convened at the first-ever Energy Thought Summit at Research Triangle in Raleigh Nov. 12 to examine the complexities facing an electric power industry being turned on its head by rapid change.

December 2, 2014  | by Lee Anne B. Nance
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The Power of Influence

Location hunting is a unique undertaking by executives and business owners that has no real parallel most of us can relate to. In buying a home, we as consumers rely on realtors to provide relevant information and make the market. But for a company, sifting through the matrix of factors across thousands of possible communities around the world can be overwhelming and impractical. And the stakes are enormous. A poor choice can cost careers and threaten the future, even survival, of the company.

November 25, 2014  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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How a community can create a successful cleantech cluster

At SXSW Eco in Austin, a panel of experts discussed how to build and sustain a cleantech cluster of public and private partnerships to progress renewable energy.

"Cleantech cluster" is not the most innovative term, and even the people who have made careers out of it don't particularly care for it. But as buzzwords go, this one is starting to catch fire.

October 8, 2014  | by Lee Anne B. Nance
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Can Russia Replicate the Research Triangle Region’s Collaborative Model?

In early September I traveled to Moscow to address a group of Russian university executives at the Moscow School of Management’s Skolkovo Campus. They had invited me because they knew of our region’s leadership in “Triple Helix” – the nexus of partnerships between businesses, government entities and educational institutions. They had also heard of how our spirit of “Collaboratition” binds competing companies and communities in a way that harnesses new industries, technologies and opportunities.

October 6, 2014  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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What I Learned at the White House

On August 5th, I had the privilege of joining an elite group of economic development professionals from around the U.S. at the White House Business Council’s Forum on Economic Development. Some 58 attendees from 25 states and the District of Columbia took part in the all-day event at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.

August 26, 2014  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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Risk or Reward: Holly Springs Lets Businesses Speak

Those of us in the business of promoting our communities are knowledgeable and passionate about our places. But too often we can get caught up in our own perceptions of our towns and don’t take the time to listen to our constituents -- or maybe we’re secretly afraid to hear the bad stuff.

Recently, when we created a video about our community, we decided we wanted to hear directly from Holly Springs business owners and residents themselves – who better to explain why businesses should consider locating to our town?

June 30, 2014  | by Partners & Allies
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Solid Waste and Smart Cities

It’s true: the buzzwords that come with talk of “smart cities”–smart economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and governance–don’t include the word “trash.” It’s also true that solid waste management has not had a prominent place in conversations about how to build a smart city.

May 12, 2014  | by Partners & Allies
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High-speed Internet in the Economic Driver’s Seat

We can all agree that technology is key to our economic growth and opportunity. But how we leverage today’s innovations for everyone’s benefit is a more complex question. Leveraging technology begins and ends with how we access it. Increasingly, that requires access to ultra high-speed broadband networks.

April 25, 2014  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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Cities Driving Statewide Renewal

Economic activity in the 21st Century tends to congeal near international airports, research universities, teaching hospitals and tech-rich communications networks. Most people today like to be near such amenities (as well as high-quality retail and entertainment attractions), and so do companies. Though they hold little regard for state borders, county lines or city limits, businesses seek locations within reach of the right workers. That places a premium on quality transportation, housing, education, healthcare and other community assets.

March 21, 2014  | by Charles A. Hayes, CEcD
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Why was NC State chosen to lead the new research consortium?

President Obama announced yesterday the creation of the $140 million Next Generation Power Electronics Institute which will be headquartered at NC State’s Centennial Campus. The Institute will be a consortium of companies and universities that will develop the next generation of energy efficient electronic chips and devices.

January 16, 2014  | by Partners & Allies
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Street Fight

A lot is being said about various threats to the electric utility business model. At their root, many of those threats are really a fundamental misalignment between utilities’ revenue model and their customers’ own financial needs and service preferences. More often than not, solar PV figures centrally in these conversations. But a new and unexpected threat is emerging: street lights.

December 18, 2013  | by Partners & Allies
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What Really Drives the Triangle's Remarkable Success

The Research Triangle Region’s cluster-based approach to job growth and business development is a proven winner. Since July 2009, when we launched our “Shape of Things to Come” strategic plan, new jobs and economic investment arriving here through business expansions and relocations have been closely linked to our 11 target industry clusters.

December 3, 2013  | by Lee Anne B. Nance
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Healthy Air Means a Healthy Economy

When I tell people I work for an air quality education program that is housed within an economic development organization, I often get surprised looks.  It’s an opportunity to explain the vital connection between the two topics:  good air quality means strong economic development potential.

October 28, 2013
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Transformation Through Collaboration in the Research Triangle Region

My organization, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), has been at the economic development game for more than two decades. RTRP leads economic development strategy for—and works with a wide range of partners to market—the region within a sixty-mile radius of the Research Triangle Park (RTP).

September 27, 2013  | by Lee Anne B. Nance