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Connectivity the key to economic growth

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March 24, 2008View for printing

Economic development is much more than just the various projects and programmes that play out at various levels around the country. Fundamentally, it is about the conversations with businesses about their needs and how that information then filters back up to shape policy.

Take the example of skill shortages. If the tertiary education system (university-level education) is to solve future skill needs, it will require focused talks with businesses about what those skill needs are going to be in, say, five years. If those talks do not happen, education and training become decoupled from business need. No one wins.

More broadly, we need to build connectivity within the innovation system. This involves creating meaningful, continuing links between business, research and educational institutions, which must be based on high trust levels, and all parties need to see the value in the process.


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I've included this in the Montana Economic Development Category but it's applicable for every state.

We need to be continually vigilant that both govt. sponsored programs and committees include proactive members of the private sector. We also need to make sure that private sector groups reach out to govt. entities and value their participation.

No successful economy can survive with two silos of activity. Both private and public sectors need to be as inclusive as possible of each other. Not doing so results in only 50% of the answer to any question.


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