Innovation Clusters in the
Decade of the 1990s

David J. Peters

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Innovation is generally considered one of the key components of success in the New Economy. Throughout the decade of the 1990s, several key innovation clusters had emerged - growing in step with the New Economy. These clusters had well above average scores (more than 1.0 standard deviation above the mean) on all the innovation and growth measures all through the 1990s.

The innovation clusters for the decade of the 1990s (calculated by summing the innovation scales) were San Jose CA (22.31), Boise City ID (12.54), Boulder-Longmont CO (11.49), Rochester MN (10.60), Rochester NY (10.40), Burlington VT (10.03), Dutchess County NY (8.73), Austin-San Marcos TX (7.62), Corvallis OR (7.51), Fort Collins-Loveland CO (5.60) and Binghampton NY (3.21).

In addition, all but three of the innovation clusters had a Doctoral/Research Extensive or Intensive university or institution located within the MSA. This anecdotal evidence suggests there may be some link between innovation and research-intensive higher education at the national level.

All of Missouri's MSAs have been doing poorly in terms of innovation throughout the decade of 1990s, compared to the nation as a whole. Given the fact that Missouri has a large number of quality Doctoral/Research universities (e.g. St. Louis University, University of Missouri System and Washington University) and an increasing number of high technology firms, many MSAs in the state should be able to capitalize on this knowledge base in the future to create innovation clusters in Missouri.

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