The 2014 Battelle report presents the results of a year-long effort to set a future strategic direction for economic development in Iowa. The report was initiated and led by the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP), an industry-led, CEO-level advisory board established by Governor Branstad in 2011. The mandate of IPEP is to continuously identify and study economic growth issues facing Iowa and recommend solutions and policy alternatives.
In initiating this statewide strategic planning effort, IPEP set out three guidelines for approaching the re-envisioning of Iowa’s economic development roadmap. First, engage a broad range of economic development stakeholders from private industry, economic development and higher education to ensure broad-based input. Second, complete a comprehensive analysis of Iowa’s industry clusters, development resources and economic assets. Finally, review and recommend the programs necessary for Iowa to strengthen its existing industry clusters and capitalize on opportunities for growth.
The full report is a comprehensive resource containing a wealth of useful data about Iowa’s economy and a set of recommendations for future action intended to preserve and improve Iowa’s position in a globally competitive economy. Key guiding principles emerged from the analysis, including:
- Appropriate measures of economic success must go beyond traditional measures of jobs and economic activity and should include the quality of jobs and improvements in the standard of living.
- The state’s 12 major industry clusters are driving its top-line economic performance and will remain critical to economic growth in the future.
- A balanced and integrated economic development plan must focus on innovation, retention and attraction for the state to keep pace with the challenges of a global economy.
Providing sufficient resources is necessary if the state is to impact key areas such as workforce, innovation, entrepreneurism, broadband, transportation infrastructure and business climate.
Iowa’s industry clusters are driving the state’s economy and are robust, diverse and have statewide impact.