Public Private Partnerships
Paul M. Hallacher, PhD, Director, Research Program Development, Penn State University
The Obama administration is aggressively pursuing the concept of regional innovation clusters as a key to economic growth and job creation in the U.S. This builds in part on work by Michael Porter and others arguing that companies in allied industries tend to aggregate geographically, and that regional economic development efforts can be more effective if they seek to leverage these naturally occurring industry clusters. California’s Silicon Valley and the Massachusetts Route 128 corridor are two commonly cited examples of regional industry clusters. A White House interagency regional clusters working groupis guiding this effort.
The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy Efficient Buildings is the first major regional innovation cluster initiative of the Obama administration. Established in September 2010, funding for the GPIC comes from four federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and private industry.