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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Tools for Economic Development

EDA TOOLS

EDA Research Reports

Communities that Work Partnership Playbook (PDF)

Skills for Business Initiative
This playbook presents the work of seven regional partnerships engaged in Communities That Work Partnership (CTWP), organized as “plays.” The plays describe strategies that AspenWSI and FutureWorks researchers and CTWP participants in the learning project believe will be useful for others engaged in the complicated task of creating talent development approaches that leverage knowledge, capacity, and resources of not only education, workforce, and economic development providers, but also business partners.

The Logic of Economic Development: A Definition and Model for Investment (PDF)

University of North Carolina
This paper starts by defining economic development and then considers the role of government, arguing that public policy should focus on building capacities that are beyond the ability of the market to provide. This shifts the debate towards a neutral role of government as a builder of capacities that enable economic agents, individuals, firms or communities to realize their potential.

EDA i6 Program: Assessment & Metrics (PDF)
EDA JIAC Program: Assessment & Metrics (PDF)

SRI International in collaboration with the University of North Carolina
The reports provide the results of field-based research that will permit expanded and more robust measures of capacity building for innovation-based firms, technical assistance providers, and start-ups. The reports also establish the role of government investments in creating and enhancing worker and firm capabilities and firm growth and competitiveness.

Making Connections, Evaluation Project to Assess Best Practices in EDA’s University Center Program

SRI International, 2014
An evaluation and collected data about EDA University Centers including best practices of University Center services and highlights of successes of each individual University Center.

Best Practices in State and Regional Economic Innovation Initiatives: Competing in the 21st Century

The National Academies Press, 2013
The goal of this study is to illustrate the approaches taken by a variety of highly diverse states as they confront the increasing challenges of global competition for the industries and jobs of today and tomorrow.

Best Practices in Foreign Direct Investment and Exporting Based on Regional Industry Clusters

Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, 2013
Economic development practitioners need to understand ways to harness their resources more effectively to attract FDI and develop their export potential. This project profiles several useful examples for local communities that may want to introduce initiatives to promote exporting and FDI or already have launched such initiatives and want to make them more effective.

Incubating Success: Incubation Best Practices that Lead to Successful New Ventures

The University of Michigan
The purpose of this study is to test whether there is a causal relationship between business incubation practices and client firm success, particularly after these firms have moved out of - or graduated - from the incubation program. Using the results of this study, the research team also created a Web-based tool for incubation practitioners that measures their program's performance compared with industry best practices and provides feedback about how they can improve their performance, and a brochure that highlights the study's findings.

Creating Community and Economic Development Tools for Preserving Working Waterfronts and Waterways (PDF)

The Island Institute
The Economic Development Administration awarded a grant in the fall of 2011 to the Island Institute and six project partners to study working waterfront needs, challenges, and strategies for preservation.

The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University: Higher Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Focus (PDF)

Department of Commerce, National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2013)
Read about how universities across the country are supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in order to strengthen the regional economy, create jobs and keep America competitive.