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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Senate Document No. 7

    Document Title
    The Commonwealth Innovation Index: Fostering the Formation, Retention, and Expansion of Technology-Based Economic Development Opportunities (SJR 126, 2008) Progress Report - January 14, 2009

    Center for Innovative Technology

    Enabling Authority
    SJR 126 (Regular Session, 2008)

    Executive Summary
    In accordance with Senate Joint Resolution No. 126, passed in the 2008 Session of the General Assembly, the Center for Innovative Technology respectfully submits this report regarding progress on the Commonwealth Innovation Index (Index). The Index is designed to foster the formation, retention, and expansion of technology-based economic development opportunities. In developing the Index, CIT solicits input from Virginia’s regional technology councils and the technology community. The Index shall serve as a community-driven tool that will enable community and Commonwealth leaders to steer a successful course toward global leadership in advanced technology company formation and attraction while saving tax dollars.

    An essential and unique element of this long-term planning tool is that it is “community-driven.” This distinguishes Virginia’s Index from those developed by other states, regions and countries. Those indices are “top down” rather than community-driven or “bottom-up.” “Top down” indices, while common practice, result in the information being little used, or when used to make investment and other decisions, not used to their maximum benefit. This occurs, in large part, because communities are not engaged in the decision process and do not “own” and remain engaged with the concepts and strategies.

    In contrast, Virginia’s approach is to engage regional technology councils and the technology community. Regional technology communities examine current and future strategic priorities and provide input about their strategic priorities during collaborative sessions. This will be an ongoing and iterative process, reflecting implementation and assessment, so that strategies and investments can be revised if regions’ needs and priorities change.

    The Commonwealth Innovation Index will be the first of its kind: a community-driven Index that enhances regional as well as statewide strategic planning and investment decisions. As designed this process is flexible but comprehensive. CIT is piloting the regional process with the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC) and will further engage with the Commonwealth’s other regional technology councils in the first quarter of CY2009.