St. Louis: Fra nedkørt industriområde til pulserende innovationsdistrikt

“Power now belongs to the problem solvers”. Sådan indleder Bruce Katz og Jeremy Nowak deres nye bog, The New Localism, hvori de beskriver den udvikling, der i stigende grad præger, ikke bare USA, men hele verden. Hvor komplekse globale udfordringer løses på byplan i innovationsdistrikter. Hvor lokale aktører på tværs af sektorer går sammen i nye konstellationer og netværk, deler viden og samskaber innovative løsninger.

Blandt de mange gode eksempler, som Katz og Nowak fremhæver, finder vi Cortex Innovation Community i St. Louis, USA. For at lære lidt mere om den rejse, som Cortex har været på de sidste 15 år, og som netop er påbegyndt i ØICC, kontaktede vi dem. Læs hvad direktør Dennis Lower svarede og bliv klogere på deres arbejde med tværsektorinnovation.

What distinguishes Cortex from other innovation districts?
“Cortex is a 200-acre industrial district that is being repurposed as a technology commercialization center. Today it is home to over 350 companies and 4,300 employees. We are focused on building a community of innovators through intentional programming and placemaking that helps break down company “silos” by facilitating interaction among district employees.”

How do you work with innovation across sectors?
“We work closely with our local universities and established companies within the district and host events and programs that largely target the Cortex startups. Our theory of practice for cross-sector innovation is to build and maintain the infrastructure that encourages innovation to emerge: buildings with multiple uses, programs that continuously attract new people, and a willingness to collaborate on complicated problems.”

What is your vision for Cortex?
“Innovation districts take decades to fully mature, and we just finished our fifteenth year. A challenge we are currently facing includes continuing to build the tech talent pool to supply our growing regional innovation workforce demand. Addressing this and other key challenges will allow us to maintain our momentum and achieve our vision: thousands of people living, working, playing and learning in and around Cortex, supporting the growth of a St. Louis regional innovation economy.”

Vil du lære mere om Cortex? Så læs mere her.

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