Doug Rasmussen Quoted in Business Report on Innovation Districts

Read the article

"Innovation Districts" are a recent creation gaining traction in the U.S., whereby metro areas or regions encourage unprecedented collaborations among academia, private industry and government to create geographic epicenters for specific industries. Within these districts, leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with startups, business incubators and accelerators.

Doug Rasmussen, current director of site selection and business incentives for financial advisor Duff & Phelps LLC in St. Louis, was instrumental in guiding the "innovation district" concept in St. Louis in his previous position with the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership's Business Development Division. The endeavor ultimately became a model for collaboration in developing an attractive site selection package.

The effort began two decades ago, when St. Louis began taking steps to capitalize upon the heavy concentration of plant science institutions in the area, ultimately creating The Coalition of Plant Life Sciences. The group—comprised of intellectuals from area universities and economic developers—worked hard to develop a long-range plan. Subsequently, St. Louis was able to attract agriscience giant KWS SAAT AG of Germany, and became a prime example of a metro area adeptly leveraging its existing strengths to attract biotech companies. Ultimately, KWS was attracted to the region because of the world-class research facilities available at the city’s Bio-Research & Development Growth Park.

Rasmussen says a willingness of the community to collaborate and work together was vital to the endeavor's success, noting that cooperativeness on the part of the local and state government provides the foundation of a good collaborative environment. "I think one of the most effective ways you can get the word out is to decide who you are, and get the community buy-in for who you are," he says. "By that, I mean don't focus on things that aren't in your realm, or aren't your core strengths."

He adds that most effective regional economic development organizations are focused on certain industries and stay "on message."

"There are certain communities that do that really well—when you get an industrial project you think of a certain area; when you have an animal health project, you think of a certain area...because that message has been delivered over and over, and infrastructure has been built around that brand and strategy."

He says communities that are organized, prepared, able to answer questions and willing to troubleshoot issues "win the day more often than not.

 
2016-09-07T00:00:00.0000000 0001-01-01T00:00:00.0000000 /about-us/news/doug-rasmussen-quoted-in-business-report-on-innovation-districts news {D59CA77E-C551-45A3-BE89-F567210C5A60} {4DACD310-421A-42AC-BEF4-8AA7E70484CD} {DCEB7BC5-D20A-4BE6-8B41-107BCABA8DED}

Related Services

Duff & Phelps Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance

Comprehensive support throughout mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

Corporate Finance
Duff & Phelps Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance

M&A Advisory

Middle-market M&A advisory differentiated by industry expertise and superior deal execution.

M&A Advisory

Case Studies

Insights