Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC)

Making Innovation Central to Rhode Island's Future Gina M. Raimondo, Governor

Collaboration and Partnerships Key to Inclusive Economic Growth

Published on June 9, 2011

Collaboration has been vital to the tremendous growth that transformed Pittsburgh into an innovation economy according to Dr. Christina Gabriel, President of the University Energy Partnership in Pittsburgh, PA who testified before the RI Science and Technology Advisory Council. Gabriel knows much about building partnerships, having worked for nearly three decades stimulating regional growth through collaborative efforts for government, academia, the private sector and philanthropic agencies.

As Gabriel detailed Pittsburgh's transformation from a steel town to a vibrant community driven by growth in a variety of tech industries such as life sciences, robotics and IT, she noted the city's transformation has been underway for nearly fifty years and there have been failures as well as successes. Specific factors she attributed for creating viable innovation clusters in community include: a strong research & development asset base; sophisticated business resources; an active network of people; and assistance in helping to grow an industry cluster. She supported STAC's recommendations to focus on our world-class strengths stressing "Excellence breeds excellence."

One point that has been a weak link and is now gaining more attention in Pittsburgh and around the country is how to broaden tech-based growth so that is inclusive and broad-based, generating wealth for all sectors of the economy and rejuvenating urban cores.

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