Knowledge-Based Economy Lauded

February 10, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids metro region ranked sixth among 90 metropolitan areas worldwide in the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index study just released by Robert Huggins Associates.

The ranking places greater Grand Rapids in the company of such regions as Boston-Cambridge, Hartford, Rochester, San Francisco and Seattle as some of the global leaders in building sustainable, knowledge-based economies.

Robert Huggins Associates is one of the United Kingdom’s foremost research houses in the field of international and regional competitiveness. Huggins defines knowledge-based economies as economies that have “the capacity to create and innovate new ideas, thoughts, processes and products and to translate these into economic value and wealth.” The company evaluated communities on per-capita criteria such as employment in high-tech industries, research and development activity, labor productivity and education expenditures.

“Innovation in all of its applications — from market strategy to product development — has been a hallmark of so many of our manufacturers it has become an attractor for investment in and to our region, and one of the drivers of our continuing economic strength,” said Birgit Klohs, president of The Right Place Inc., the region’s economic development organization.    

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