Akron Beacon Journal: Hubs of innovation


Akron Beacon Journal: Hubs of innovation

Listen to the debate in Washington and at the Statehouse, and you are invited to think the level of taxation alone drives the performance of the economy. Ample research and evidence show that is not the case. More telling, in a word, is organization. The structure of an economy matters, how well the components interact — say, to prepare workers, drive innovation and take full advantage of local business strengths.

To his credit, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown long has been pressing for such an initiative, a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation. The Ohio Democrat rightly highlights the value of a strong manufacturing sector, even if it does not employ the numbers of workers it once did. Among other things, manufacturing leads in innovation, generates higher-paying jobs and fuels exports.

Brown understands the need to take one hub at a time, showing “proof of concept.” Yet to achieve the necessary impact, one or two hubs will not be sufficient. The senator and the president are near the mark in seeking more than a dozen.

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