REALNEO Development Plan

Submitted by Guest on Thu, 10/07/2004 - 22:25.

REALNEO is being developed by Northeast Ohio regional economic development leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and other concerned citizens, with the support of many global information technology experts, to provide the region with a unique, world-class unforked open source framework providing the optimal virtual social network,collaboration and knowledge management systems for economic development and entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio (and be the best in the world).

REALNEO stands for Regional Economics Action Links North East Ohio. This "ABOUT" "book" is our plan of action developing this community. Here are answered 12 questions asked of the developers to deploy this solution in this community and secure support and funding. Please read through to understand the concept and related development issues - feel free to post your comments.

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defining service area

1) Using political boundaries ie. northeast Ohio, as opposed to geographic place names ie. Lake Erie South Shore are value-laden. Herer are some issues: It limits vision; implies competitive advantage by reason of an Ohio location; ignores opportunity for global regional brand. 2) why limit focus to economic development and entrepreneurship?  Why use the ED word at all?  What are these concepts best statement in Anglo-Saxon?  ED sounds bureaucratic.  Whereas, something like "fostering innovation and entrepreneurship"  use the words that tell about activity.      

NEO and ED

These days I really consider Lake Erie a minor physical and psychological factor in our regional economy - a nice view at the end of some interesting rivers - so I do think of Northeast Ohio as physical rather than political (NEO is almost anti-political, as it crosses so many district lines). I see the economic development anchors here as Case, UH, the Clinic and links from the past - old enterprises that have not left, and wealth created and retained.

<>I see REALNEO as having a role in overall regional ED by networking and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within a close physical proximity (say within 50 miles of 44113). At the individual level, it helps entrepreneurs be innovative and collaborate to succeed, largely by making them part of a larger, more effectvie economic development community, with leveraged, known, accessible and valuable resources to offer (that is an assumption - if the community doesn't have anything to offer innovators and entrepreneurs, then it is not a desirable location for them and REALNEO's role should be to create such community value). Whether creating or leveraging community value, at the comprehensive level the network is designed to have an ED impact on the region.

Creating critical mass

I would agree that Lake Erie's presence is not that significant, but people, globally, don't know that.  It is fresh water though and people like Amory Lovins like to make a lot of that.  Moreover, the Great Lakes show up on a map and they do create a community of interest that may be large enough to offset, for example, the axis running from L.A. to Atlanta.  Though they were more important when  lake shipping was a bigger factor in the region's economy.  The other points mentioned are correct.  Two additional thoughts. 1) Places that produce transformational experiences are valuable assets.  Such experiences attract people to them.  There proximity to NEO is critical to the region's efforts to create unique value.  The Art Museum and the Clevleand Orchestra come immediately to mind.  So they are part of the cluster that defines critical mass of IP.  2) with respect to distance, it is more than 50 miles:  MOre relevant is the distance that you can drive to and from in one day's time, intersecting with existing cluster strength. 

RE; Critical Mass

You are right that being America's North Shore is an interesting geographical reference worth leveraging. But how far do you feel the region extends to embrace the optimal mass of clusters and innovators - what are the key cities and nodes to include?

Also, how much individual identity should physical areas - cities, counties, neighborhoods - play in structuring the network (e.g. an upcoming Tuesday@REI is focused on Glenville)? Perhaps each EDO/Community Action Group is a COIL, and their members may participate in other COILS (e.g. Glenville property developers participating in a COIL on the economic value of historic buildings and renovation tax and funding advantages... Detroit/Superior/Shoreway on attracting and retaining new businesses)

That Cleveland/NEO has a deep concentration in the arts can't be understated - CIA and other universities turn out huge numbers of artists of every type and many stay here - all would love to succeed here - I see Mayshow as a COIL for visual artists here, potentially with 1,000s of members - the CMA should be its own COIL, helping with their expansion... so many great opportunities to bring people together to solve timely problems and become involved with solutions.

Also, that there are so many universities in the region offers great critical mass - tech transfer (each available technology is a COIL with a team already in place, but limited ability to network that, beyond their TT management) and student and alumni participation, and their participation in other COILs of interest - U of A and Case researchers teaming up to develop the polymers COIL...Case and Cleveland State with NASA on rocket engineering...