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James Gollub

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The following are summaries of a sample of white papers, published articles and presentations on innovation-driven economic development prepared by James Gollub of James Gollub Associates (JGA).

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National, State & Regional Economic Development Policy & Strategy


Clusters 2.0—Building Your Next Generation Regional Economy:

This presentation on enabling transformative economic developed was prepared by Gollub and has been delivered to and shared with public and private leaders globally under the sponsorship of U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), USAID, and the World Bank, as well as through associations such as the IEDC. The presentation introduces the framework for regional cluster-based economic development followed by the strategy development steps. A more detailed practitioner guidebook, “Cluster-based Economic Development: A Key to Regional Competitiveness” prepared for EDA is also available on request.


Clusters 2.0—The Local Reality of Globalization:

This article by Gollub in EDA America Journal introduces a perspective on cluster-based economic development logic frequently missed in much of today’s compartmentalized, silo-driven, economic development analysis and planning. Gollub’s approach emphasizes new rules in which every public or private entity is an economic input supplier or output producer and must be engaged in an explicit collaborative Cluster 2.0 strategy process to address the competitive challenges of globalization. This articled followed Gollub having completed for EDA the first-ever nationwide regional identification and analysis of U.S. clusters and an assessment of best practices all presented in EDA workshops around the country.

This Gollub white paper outlines a common sense framework and process for domestic economic development policy based on aligning top-down federal policies and investment decisions with bottom-up community (metropolitan regional) stakeholder defined needs and commitments to act. The document also provides a profile of the history of initiatives for regions at the economic inflection point led by James Gollub that is the basis for this argument for new thinking.

This white paper was prepared to inform national policy makers on how to optimize the impact of federal programs and investments on the nation’s over 382 but very different metropolitan regions. The paper, based on scores of prior completed regional strategy initiatives offers ways to enhance investment impacts by aligning top-down national ‘pools’ of resources with bottom-up portfolios consisting of screened deal flow based on regional needs and commitments, leveraging regional readiness and assets. This approach avoids the narrower, albeit politically attractive, short-term focus of conventional topical or ‘shovel ready’ projects.

This paper introduces and expands on the notion of ‘rethinking governance’ to achieve a more integrated approach to enabling dynamic economic growth of communities. The paper goes beyond arguing the merits of conventional impact investment. The text focuses on the challenge of optimizing the range of impacts of investment decisions by public (federal in particular) and private entities. The paper applies market-driven economic principles to the goal of building regional economic portfolios under changing conditions of technology and trade. The focus is on building a new type of aggregate regional ‘deal flow’ to which national or private investment decisions can be aligned to enhance competitive and sustainable growth.

Gollub presented this talk at a conference workshop on the Bay Area Impact Investment Initiative sponsored by the San Francisco Federal Research Bank. The Gollub presentation stresses the need to use a collaborative process to both identify and then aggregate and screen shared sustainability objectives. Through a process that generates a ‘deal flow’ that delivers a scale of impacts this area of investment can evolve from competition around individual projects to those that have individually and collectively a higher multiplier of outcomes. Gollub illustrated how the bottom-up, regional, cluster-driven, strategy process can enable job creation, greater equity of opportunities and improved sustainability.

This report summarizes the framework and collaborative output of a work session at the California Economic Summit (2016) co-chaired, guided and facilitated by Gollub and colleagues with 60 representatives from California metropolitan regions. The findings specify shared definitions of middle-income job growth challenges and agreed upon prospective actions that regions can take, closing with how to build a roadmap to achieving more middle-income jobs.

This white paper was prepared by Gollub to support subsequent collaborative discussions at the 2016 California Economic Summit and inform elements of a roadmap for future state policy. Three elements and principles are offered for consideration: (1) How market forces impact our region’s jobs external to local factors. (2) Three targets for job retention and growth that is often not understood in economic strategy (productivity-driven competitiveness, innovation-driven new value, and capture of value-chain locally/import substitution). (3) How to achieve job growth using bottom-up, market-driven, collaborative, impact-focused strategy process.

This presentation prepared by James Gollub and Paul Masson for the seven sponsors and stewardship-board of the Greater Wichita region delivers the results of a collaborative regional strategy process (BREG). This includes the analytic baseline of the region’s economic health and performance, the assessment and strategies developed with each of the eight industry clusters selected as key to the region’s economic portfolio, and the cross-cutting regional initiatives agreed upon by stakeholders from across clusters and the region that were agreed to build comparative advantage. The presentation concludes with an outline of implementing this bottom-up strategy for regional leaders to consider.


Innovation Strategy for Regions, Universities, Institutes & Tech Parks


This white paper introduces the innovation pipeline framework that Gollub and team have developed and applied globally with universities, institutes, laboratories, hospitals, states and regions since the early 1980s. The paper introduces the pipeline and the challenge of building economic bridges across key obstacles or chasms through Discovery (translating science into innovation), Development (converting innovations into solutions), and Deployment (bringing solutions to market while optimizing economic impacts). The paper provides case examples of key ways of taking action where Gollub and his team have assisted regions and institutions in generating and implementing needed bridges.

This presentation was prepared for and delivered at the annual PACIBER conference, an association of 35 business schools across the Pacific Rim. The presentation first explores how the nature of triple bottom-line has evolved (using Gollub experience since the 1980s) and how new principles that concurrently examine prosperity, equity and sustainability are now guiding action. Gollub then described both a new logic for action and a new lens for applying ‘governance tools’ to constructively shape the behavior of markets—to inform, enable, induce and sustain desired outcomes. Gollub then introduced the innovation pipeline as the appropriate focus for capturing value from and for universities and their surrounding economies and outlined how to apply this concept.

This presentation introduces and describes a summary of the recommendations made by James Gollub Associates and approved by the (then) management of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) a $3B initiative to accelerate the development and delivery of stem cell-based solutions to the clinic and patient. Three recommendations are outlined, backed by a SWOT analysis, analysis of diverse alternative models and vetting of those models with leaders in science, technology enterprise and investment. The core recommendations included a public-private pre-clinical and clinical trials fund, a CIRM accelerator initiative to assist early-stage developments, and a pre-competitive R&D program to overcome core challenges to enabling growth.

This presentation by Gollub and his former colleagues introduces the findings from our vision and strategy for a biomedicine-innovation technology center designed to grow a biomedical technology cluster for the Paso del Norte region. The goal is to harnesses deep regional bioscience competencies in target theme areas to generate intellectual property and commercialize innovation to form enterprise and attract business partners for an expanding biomedical product production and service cluster that generates positive multiples across the broader region. This presentation to the sponsor (Medical Center of the Americas Foundation) and stewards presents our assessment of the region’s innovation competencies in biomedicine from science to innovation and innovation to commercialization (a SWOT analysis) followed by presentation of our three recommended components—a translational research consortia, a capitalized biomedical innovation incubator and a regional cluster network and biomedical cluster group. This biomedical technology center has now been build and is operating.

This presentation was originally prepared at the request of Senator Jim Bingaman (NM) to explore how federal laboratories and regional universities could evolve to generate new sources of revenue and local impacts. This request was made following discussions during a regional competitiveness strategy for the broader Albuquerque region that generated in-depth appraisal of strengths and weaknesses and potential of the region’s innovation capacity and new directions. This presentation was updated at a later date and subsequently used to explain to universities and institutes how to anchor regional innovation clusters and become more powerful economic engines.

This white paper addresses the challenge of reconciling the national interest in accelerating the formation and growth of regional hubs of innovation (‘innovation clusters’) with the economic and institutional realities of innovation-driven economic development and industry cluster-based growth. The paper introduces the logic and framework of regional innovation clusters followed by regional innovation strategy process steps. The paper then provides case examples of how regions achieve their objectives using regional innovation pipeline thinking. The case offered from the Paso del Norte region (El Paso, TX; Las Cruces, NM; Ciudad Juarez, Mexico) and shows how development and implementation can be successfully achieved.

This Gollub presentation was presented at an annual IEDC conference and introduces the innovation pipeline framework, the stakeholders in innovation, the approach to vision, strategy steps and implementation with three past cases Gollub had advised over the past 30 years (and four biomedical profiles in the Appendix) including the Michigan Biotech Institute (MBI International), South Carolina’s Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Economy, South Ontario’s Bio-product Innovation Network. The presentation concludes with three key areas for regions to rethink to achieve innovation-driven growth and three challenges to enabling this to take place.

This briefing introduces an applied innovation-driven economics framework to the continuum of real estate development projects. The objective of this briefing is to induce developers to consider corporate real estate projects in a regional economic context that will both enable more rapid attraction of tenants and generation of higher value and more flexible and adaptive use of developments over time. The development concepts described are scalable that range from Anchor Technology Complexes (single buildings and corporate headquarters or novel anchor institutions) to Planned Developments (micro-economic settings that may be technology parks, corporate campuses or ‘smart communities’) to Regional Competitiveness Hubs (distributed development cluster networks with distinctive synergies).

This two-part article was written by Gollub for Economic Development Commentary on how to optimize the successful economic development and growth of science and technology parks. The content draws directly from a range of Gollub’s prior science and technology park projects in Japan, Italy, Finland and innovation-driven economic strategies in Bangalore and Jena, former East Germany as well as in the U.S. However, the article concentrates on the cases of Sandia Science and Technology Park initiative in Albuquerque, NM that was an integral element of a broader innovation-driven, cluster-focused, regional economic strategy, an initiative in Long Beach, CA and a collaborative planning initiative for a future technology park at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

This detailed article in SPUR’s Urbanist journal was written about and based on an initiative directed by Gollub (funded by PG&E) that was the first economic development driven assessment of the structure of the rapidly evolving cleantech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report analyzed and showed the difference in composition, concentration and impact of segments of the cleantech industry cluster around the Bay Area and in San Francisco, in particular.  The report prepared provides the case for more systematically growing this industry and how to enable this to take place.

This presentation prepared by the E-Cubed Institute (E3I)subsidiary unit of James Gollub Associates presents a framework for communities to use in accelerating the adoption of sustainability ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ project deal flow. The presentation introduces the triple bottom-line perspectives of E-Cubed Institute and shows how scale of sustainability can be achieved in two key ways: Aggregating shared demand of end-users by market stakeholder group, such as communities (neighborhoods and districts), industries (shared cluster needs) and institutions (school districts, medical facilities, public facilities) and through building the supply-side of the clean technology value-chain so that local sourcing and cluster impacts can be achieved and over time integrated into the greening of the value-chain of all activities in a region.





James Gollub Associates (415) 789-0300