bestnom1000x50

Prov chamber ponies up for knowledge economy

 

Here's a great question upon which Rhode Island should focus: how to best catalyze the small but growing local digital media-IT-knowledge economy for faster growth? If there are any geeks/thinkers/entrepreneurs out there reading, I'd welcome their comments.

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce hopes it has part of the answer:

Providence, R.I.  – Continuing the momentum of the Knowledge Economy and Implementation Strategy, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted unanimously to commit $100,000 to the plan, and more specifically to jumpstart some of the short-term projects that have been identified as ways to create jobs and grow the tax base.  

As part of the vote, which took place at the Chamber’s Board Meeting on October 17, 2008, the Directors also urged private sector businesses, institutions and foundations to join in the collaboration by providing additional funding. The hope is that all committed funding can be leveraged to give much needed seed support to projects that will grow the 21stcentury Knowledge Economy of Providence and Rhode Island. 

“There is no doubt that we are in the midst of very challenging economic times, yet the Chamber Board recognizes the critical need to strategically reposition our economy and invest in our people and projects,” said Edward J. Cooney, vice president and treasurer of Nortek Inc., and chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “Collaboration has been the cornerstone of this project since its inception and will continue to be as we take more impactful steps forward. I anticipate that within the coming weeks, a number of additional announcements will be made to formalize the knowledge economy and to accelerate the implementation.”

The move by the Chamber comes just two weeks after the Knowledge Economy Community Summit which mapped out a specific plan to strengthen and grow the region’s knowledge economy sectors – healthcare, technology, research and design, and alternative energy – by identifying, coordinating and supporting regional assets, competencies and networks. The event drew more than 250 attendees.

The Knowledge Economy initiative began in 2007.  It is based on four overarching themes or “market drivers” that are identified as keys to the success of the initiative.

·        Providence Knowledge Collaboratory – building upon the community’s collective resources and institutions in targeted areas of opportunity

·        Innovative Workforce Partnerships –retaining highly skilled young talent in the region by connecting people today with the training they need for the jobs of the future

·        Strengthening Entrepreneurial Connectivity –developing a 21st century local business community that achieves the necessary connections between ideas, institutions and investors

·        Unleashing Youth and Student Innovation -- engaging the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders now. 

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