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Spotlight: Innovative Data Tools for Communities, Economic Developers and Businesses

Did you know that EDA partners with businesses and universities through its Research and National Technical Assistance program (PDF) to develop and disseminate “data tools” on emerging economic development concepts? These tools are paving pathways of success for economic development and innovation by helping communities develop strategic plans, locate and evaluate regional clusters, explore existing innovation capacity and much more.

For example, the StatsAmerica Innovation Index 2.0 Tool that we highlight in this edition of Innovate@EDA is providing economic development practitioners with a fast, simple way to calculate whether a country, region, or neighborhood may meet EDA eligibility thresholds for unemployment and income.

Another tool that offers significant support to businesses, policy makers, academics, and economic developers is U.S. Cluster Mapping and Registry Tool. Funded by EDA and created in partnership with the Harvard University’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, the U.S. Cluster Mapping tool is a national initiative that provides data on regional clusters and economies to support U.S. business, innovation and policy. The site also provides a cluster registry where cluster organizations can connect with key businesses, both up and down supply chains, in their respective regions to help advance cluster initiatives.

You can learn more about how businesses, economic developers, and others are using this tool to achieve their goals in our Success Story section.

These are just two examples of several innovative tools that are making a significant impact in economic development research and awareness across U.S. communities. For a complete list of EDA tools, please visit our “Tools” page.