Sunday, April 11, 2010

Innovation through Real Estate Development

At its core, Creative Village is a real estate development, a chance to elevate a parcel of land into a place defined by a cohesive collection of buildings, residences, open spaces and institutions. Were that all Creative Village was about, however, it would hardly be as significant as it has the potential to become.

An article in today’s New York Times, "Innovation by Order of the Kremlin," provides insight into Russia’s attempts to self-generate a scientific city - and interesting juxtaposition to our own Creative Village.

As Russia works to move its center of innovation beyond walled scientific communities, cut off from the rest of the country, there are a number of factors called out as necessary to success. Despite the significant cultural, government and regulatory differences between Orlando’s Creative Village and Russia’s unnamed site near Moscow, we share - or should share - common goals:   
  • Commercialization of work done at local Universities
  • Housing within immediate proximity of employment
  • Streamlined immigration rules
  • Focus on a mix of start-ups, established companies and academic institutions
  • Definition of specific areas for advancement and investment
All of this just illustrates the reality of today’s global economy. Our competitors for jobs – and knowledge workers – aren’t just Charlotte and Atlanta and Denver. We’re in active pursuit for talent with Cyberjaya in Malaysia, China’s tech cluster in Tianjin, and France’s Sophia Antipolis.

For those still wondering if the investment in creativity, technology and innovation are worth it, consider this line from the NYT's article: “Gazprom, a [Russian] company that inherited title to the world’s largest natural gas reserves – is now valued by investors at well below Apple – a company that sprang from a garage.”


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