The Inland Empire has long been a place for innovation. The resilience of its people in the face of various challenges makes it a region of grit and determination that often spurs innovative solutions. The economy of the Inland Empire has shifted over time from the citrus boom in the late 1880s to the more recent logistics (e.g., transportation, third-party logistics, e-commerce) healthcare, manufacturing, and renewable energy sectors.
While each industry has experienced some form of innovation in the past, recent advances in technology and science have highlighted clear innovative possibilities in certain sectors. We define innovation as the implementation of a new or significantly improved good or service, or process (Gault 2018). Not only do these innovations advance the industry as a whole, but they also influence the abundance of middle and high-skill jobs and capital investments in the region. Innovation and entrepreneurship also contribute to the Inland Empire’s overall regional narrative as a place for new ideas to grow and flourish.
The Inland Empire is very active in terms of innovation in many sectors. Importantly, this is by no means an exhaustive list; merely a snapshot of the types of promising innovation our region has to offer. This list is based on our engagement and outreach to innovation ecosystem stakeholders in the region. If you are doing innovative work in one of the sectors we’ve highlighted, please reach out to Gary Rettberg at Gary.Rettberg@ucr.edu for more information.