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Tools for Economic Development

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) partners with entities to develop and disseminate tools on new and emerging economic development concepts that practitioners and policymakers can utilize to make more informed development decisions.

Identify Levels of Distress:

  • Measuring Distress – A Resource for EDA Stakeholders
    Developed by the Indiana Business Research Center, this tool provides practitioners a fast, simple way to calculate whether a county, region, or neighborhood may meet EDA eligibility thresholds for unemployment and income.

Develop a Strategic Plan:

  • Know Your Region: A Template for Future Prosperity
    The Know Your Region curriculum is designed to introduce practitioners and policymakers to best practices and proven techniques for applying new and emerging concepts into the regional strategic planning process to realize economic development goals. This curriculum is delivered by the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) through face-to-face seminars and webinar series.

Building the Regional Ecosystem and Identifying Competitive Advantage:

  • Identifying Regional Clusters
    EDA has invested in two distinct tools designed to help practitioners better identify their cluster assets. The first tool was developed by Purdue University and the Indiana Business Research Center to identify the industry and occupational clusters and related assets present in a user-defined geography (micro perspective), while the second tool was created by Harvard University’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness to identify the clusters driving the national economy (macro perspective). The Harvard cluster tool also provides a cluster registry where cluster organizations can find and connect with key organizations in their region to help advance cluster initiatives.

  • Calculating Innovation Capacity
    The Innovation Index, created by the Indiana Business Research Center, provides practitioners an easy-to-compare method of assessing the innovation capacity of their region by providing the composite index of innovation inputs built upon data from four areas: human capital, economic dynamics, productivity and employment, and well-being.

  • Identifying and Supporting Venture Development Organizations
    Created by the State Science and Technology Institute, the Regional Innovation Accelerator Network (RIAN) is designed to help identify existing venture development organizations (VDOs) and relevant best practices that VDOs can implement to advance economic development objectives.

Decide Among Competing Projects: