New Illinois Innovation Index E-Newsletter
Economic innovation plays a major role in producing sustainable economic prosperity and enhancing our region's global competitiveness. Innovation -- the process by which new ideas are transformed into goods and services -- is not as well-researched as, for example, the education system, nor does it necessarily demand the same level of public investment. Because innovation remains a rather elusive concept, policy makers need better systems for collecting, tracking, and analyzing indicators of innovation. For example, understanding the number of businesses and jobs in key sectors and the relative success of particular programs and financial incentives can help us make better decisions about public investments. Improving data and information systems relative to innovation should be a top priority for the region and State of Illinois, as recommended by GO TO 2040.
To help implement this recommendation, CMAP has partnered with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, World Business Chicago, and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (with support from the Illinois Innovation Network) to develop a monthly Illinois Innovation Index e-newsletter that will feature innovation metrics, news, and statistical insights. Its purpose is to engage and educate a broad community of businesses, investors, researchers, policymakers, and educators through the analysis, benchmarking, and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurial activity metrics across metropolitan Chicago and Illinois. This tool will provide both perspective on current regional economic conditions and an ongoing data archive for public use.
The first issue, launched today, examines venture capital. The availability of venture capital is an important factor that can incent or limit the amount of innovation-to-market success. During the period 2000 to 2009, venture capital funding fell dramatically in the Chicago area, from $2.4 billion to $175 million, according to GO TO 2040. On a positive note, there has been a recent uptick in venture capital funding, which "has been flowing into [the State of] Illinois at record levels" since June 2009, with the bulk of investment occurring in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area, according to the e-newsletter. The data featured in this issue of the Illinois Innovation Index has been thoroughly vetted by venture capital industry insiders to improve the accuracy of currently available public data.
Future metrics will include:
- Results from the Illinois Entrepreneurial Index Survey
- Employment and output by regional industry cluster
- Information on new business starts
- Origin information for businesses that have moved to Illinois and destination information for businesses that have moved out of Illinois
The data and relevant charts are also publicly available through MetroPulse, and metrics will eventually be aggregated into a comprehensive Illinois Innovation Index report on a periodic basis. Click hereto sign up for the monthly e-newsletter.