Research Parks and Innovation Districts: Established and Contemporary Innovation Strategies for Economic Development

Join the Department of Social Sciences for this Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series event featuring guest speaker Joshua Drucker, associate professor of urban planning and policy in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at University of Illinois Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the University of Michigan. His research centers around the processes of regional economic development and transformation, and he seeks to understand phenomena of growth, decline, and adjustment in order to design policies to achieve and sustain positive economic outcomes. He has published scholarly articles on these topics in top journals, such as Economic Geography, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and Regional Studies. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, NASA, and the U.S. departments of Commerce and Defense.

This virtual event will take place February 2 beginning at 12:40 p.m.

Research parks and innovation districts are two relatively common approaches for promoting and leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Research parks are a prevalent and time-tested tool, whereas innovation districts are a more recent phenomenon that has been spreading across the U.S. and other Global North nations. The two strategies possess commonalities that help to illustrate their advantages and disadvantages for regional economic development. The policy trajectories of these two strategies illustrate strengths and weaknesses in knowledge-based economic development, along with the dynamic nature of economic development planning.

Drucker’s talk, “Research Parks and Innovation Districts: Established and Contemporary Innovation Strategies for Economic Development,” will take place on Zoom.

The event is part of the Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series that explores the major problems facing humanity as we move into the heart of the twenty-first century. To see the full schedule and videos from previous events, visit the seminar series page.

For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Hao Huang at