Past Event

Regional Innovation Clusters: Advancing the Next Economy

The Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, the Council on Competitiveness, and the National Association of Development Organizations co-hosted an event on innovation clusters on September 23. State and local policymakers, members of the Obama administration, and leaders from the business, academic, and philanthropic sectors discussed the significance of regional innovation clusters to the future of the American economy.

Panelists also included CEOs and regional leaders who are leveraging the power of clusters—networks of interconnected, geographically concentrated businesses, and related actors in the same industries—to boost entrepreneurship and job growth. The discussion explored new directions in federal policy aimed at tapping the potential of clusters to enhance regional and national economic performance.

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The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Derek Douglas, Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs
Dr. John Lechleiter, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Eli Lilly
(Left to right) Matt Chase, President, National Association of Development Organizations; Duane Roth, CEO, CONNECT; Richard Lunak, President and CEO, Innovation Works; Dr. Luis Proenza, President, University of Akron; Betsy Biemann, President, Maine Technology Institute



9:30 AM -- Panel One: Clusters as Job Creators

10:45 AM -- Panel Two: Regional Actors Strengthening Clusters

12:45 PM -- Luncheon Keynote

1:15 PM -- Afternoon Framing Remarks

8:45 AM -- Welcome and Framing Remarks


Derek Douglas

Vice President for Civic Engagement - The University of Chicago

9:00 AM -- Keynote Address

1:45 PM -- Panel Three: Federal Cluster Policies and Initiatives


John Fernandez

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Administrator, Economic Development Administration

2:45 PM -- Closing Keynote

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