Equitable Innovation Economies Initiative

Cities across the U.S. are increasingly focusing their economic development efforts on innovation to spur economic growth. Investments in these assets – from advanced manufacturing technologies to tech firms to makerspaces – may grow businesses and create new jobs, but can also exacerbate inequities in cities already facing widening economic and racial disparities. 

The Equitable Innovation Economies Initiative (EIE) is a multi-year project launched by the Pratt Center for Community Development in collaboration with PolicyLink and the Urban Manufacturing Alliance to help cities pursue more inclusive growth strategies in innovation and manufacturing.  The EIE Initiative just released its flagship report, Prototyping Equity: Local Strategies for a More Inclusive Economy.

Since 2014, a visionary group of leaders from New York, NY, Indianapolis, IN, Portland, OR and San Jose, CA have been piloting new approaches to advancing equity in innovation and manufacturing through the EIE initiative. Prototyping Equity documents this work, including the tools guiding this pilot effort, candid perspectives from each city, and broader insights for the field.

Also, see the EIE city snapshots below. These snapshots provide an in-depth overview of how each city prioritized equity objectives across select program strategies – from industrial redevelopment to entrepreneur support to youth-focused workforce development – and how they shaped their program strategies to meet these goals.