Groups launch initiative to assess impact of Innovation District

Authored By chloe.morrison

These banners mark the heart of the Innovation District. (Photo: Contributed)

The Enterprise Center and Metro Ideas Project have put together a team to assess the impact of the city’s Innovation District, which launched a little more than two years ago. 

“The Enterprise Center approached us about this project and said they wanted to evaluate the progress they’ve made in establishing the Innovation District and [think] more critically about the actual effects of the work they’ve done,” Metro Ideas Project Executive Director Joda Thongnopnua said. 

The research initiative will happen in two phases.

First, the team will explore internal effects of focusing economic, physical and networking resources on a specific geographic area. Second, the team will look at budding spillover effects on the larger community. 

Research is expected to be complete this summer, and the research process includes “dozens of qualitative interviews, quantitative data analysis and a deep dive into the literature from other innovation districts across the country,” according to a news release. 

The Enterprise Center is underwriting the project and Metro Ideas Project, a nonprofit public policy research startup, is leading the research effort.

Leaders assembled an advisory committee made up of eight subject matter experts and thought leaders from across the country for the initiative. 

“I was really proud of the group that we put together,” Thongnopnua also said. 

The advisory committee members are:

  • Jennifer S. Vey, Brookings Institution
  • Brooks Rainwater, National League of Cities
  • Colin Tomkins-Bergh, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Anne-Marie Lubenau, Bruner Foundation
  • Terrah Glenn, National League of Cities
  • Jessica Ice, JumpStart Inc.
  • Stacy Richardson, city of Chattanooga
  • Nathan Storring, Project for Public Spaces

Disclaimer:‘s parent company is Lamp Post Group, which funds the Metro Ideas Project, but editorial decisions for this publication are made independently of Lamp Post Group and the Metro Ideas Project.