Wolf Administration and CMU Present Findings of Report on Pennsylvania’s Innovation Economy
Harrisburg, PA – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) graduate students and advisors, Representative Mary Jo Daley, local businesses, and stakeholders today to share findings from a report created by a student team at CMU on Pennsylvania’s Innovation Economy and announce the creation of a new Innovation Economy Dashboard, which will help inform policymaking decisions based on reliable data.
“DCED is grateful for the opportunity to team up with this CMU student group to develop a valuable tool for future use in continuing to boost Pennsylvania’s role in a modern, technology-driven economy, attracting new businesses, promoting entrepreneurship, and bringing new jobs and opportunities to communities across the state’s 67 counties,” said Sec. Davin. “We are pleased to share the findings and recommendations of this report that were a result of and reflect the administration’s commitment to supporting the innovation sector.”
The project originated from Governor Tom Wolf’s January 2020 proposal to spur innovation across the state, focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem and growing tech sectors, and was authored by six master’s students of the Master of Science in Public Policy and Management program at CMU’s Heinz College with assistance from DCED advisors and CMU advisory board members. Research included a review of previously published reports, content-specific scholarship, available datasets, and conversations with experts at DCED and the innovation stakeholders on the team’s advisory board.
“It was an honor to serve the Commonwealth and apply the skills we learned at CMU to Governor Wolf’s initiative in collaboration with DCED,” said Grace Klein, CMU student team leader. “We look forward to promoting more innovative university-government partnerships as we continue our careers in public policy.”
In addition to the report, the team also developed a web dashboard wireframe, a set of recommendations regarding policy, budget, data collection, and follow-on work for DCED. The report and dashboard are intended to serve as tools for the public, policy makers, EDO’s, administrators, business organizations, and university administrators to identify the state’s strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: research and development funding, business creation, risk capital, education, employment, talent retention, and transportation and broadband access.
The recommendations capture particular opportunities to develop the state’s innovation economy, informed by literature reviews, conversations with experts, and the writers’ experiences living and studying in the state.
Casey Smith, DCED, firstname.lastname@example.org