And yet what ultimately makes “Connect to Compete” so powerful is its authors’ deep understanding of how quickly the world is changing — and what that will mean to cities over the next century.
Philadelphia has most of what Amazon appears to want for its second headquarters location, with its large population, highly educated workforce, elite universities, proximity to other East Coast cities and to international air travel, and robust cultural life, said Jennifer Vey, coauthor of a recently released study on Philadelphia’s innovation economy.
"The 'eds and meds' mix that has translated into advanced manufacturing...has given Pittsburgh a new breath of life [into] a city that was basically broken in the 1980s."
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“Universities that specialize in the life science rank high on technology transfer metrics because medical devices and drug discoveries are more often patented and licensed than other technologies.”
Andes concludes that downtown schools need to invest in what’s working—collaborate with industry partners to accelerate commercialization, connect with corporate research centers, incentivize entrepreneurship, and invest in strategic connections to the city—and not assume that proximity will be productive. Even with the advantages of an urban location, schools need to foster growth and innovation.