Inland Empire Innovation Ecosystem
What is IE Squared?
IE Squared is a collaboration of regional partners seeking to support and advocate for strengthening the innovation ecosystem in the Inland Empire.
IE Squared is a resource for innovation in the region and includes:
- A directory of regional incubators and accelerators,
- Research on the current state of innovation in the Inland Empire,
- Convening coordinated narrative work and events; and
- Maintaining, fostering, and growing relationships within and outside the Inland Empire
Defining an Innovation Ecosystem
There are many different ways to define an innovation ecosystem and identify its characteristics and components. According to Moore 1993, an innovation ecosystem refers to a “loosely interconnected network of companies and other entities that coevolve capabilities around a shared set of technologies, knowledge, or skills, and work cooperatively and competitively to develop new products and services.”
In the Inland Empire, this ecosystem consists of interconnected stakeholders in higher education, industry, local government, community, and investment and funding organizations.
Innovation Ecosystem and Economic Development
It is important to note that an innovation ecosystem is not static and is constantly evolving. Due to the fundamental connectedness between sectors and components and the notion that innovation is new and can be “disruptive” to systems, therefore a healthy ecosystem should be both fluid and dynamic.
In terms of economic development, innovation ecosystems are important because they not only facilitate and support new development, but they can ultimately benefit the local community living in the region as well through opportunities, increasing revenues and resources, and contributing to a region’s sense of place.