A small group of cities and towns in Northeast Ohio is trying to figure out strategies to share revenues. In this way, they hope to curb the destructive competition among cities and towns within the region. You can learn more about this initiative from its web site.
Now, the State of Ohio is exploring ways to encourage this type of collaboration. Read more.
Indiana should be interested interested in following this approach.
We can start by looking at the WIRED initiative (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) and the Regional Innovation Grants (pre-WIRED grants) that the Department of Labor has been making. The Department of Labor has been stimulating regional collaboration by placing positive incentives in front of regions.
You can learn more about what is going on in the WIRED regions from the WIRED Nation web site.
In the years ahead, state policy-makers will be redesigning economic development incentives to encourage these collaborations. But we can expect local incentives to come under more scrutiny, as well. We will see new types of local economic development incentives.
Here's an example. Recently, I worked with Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) to develop a local innovation zone incentive initiative. The initiative is designed to encourage local collaborations. It begins with a concept of "anchor partners", which must include at least one college or university. You can learn more from the project web site.