Feature Story Archives

FEATURE STORY: Aerotropolis – Landing In The Heart Of 21st Century Urban Planning

Memphis International Airport Posted on:

The future of economic development is taking shape at major international air hubs that have become the anchor of an organically expanding growth strategy: the Aerotropolis. From the January/February 2012 issue.

FEATURE STORY: Powering New Markets – Converting Green Energy To Currency

Nissan Decherd, TN plant. (Photo: Nissan.) Posted on:

Sky-high expectations that renewable energy would be the growth driver of a new economy are giving way to market-driven realities. From the January/February 2012 issue.

Louisiana: State of the Year

Posted on:

Refusing to bow to a plague of disasters—including a hurricane, a huge oil spill and a national economic downturn—Louisiana responds with a diverse, innovative growth strategy.

FEATURE STORY: Building Inspiration – Over The Years And Into The Future

In 1994, the Asbury Park Press profiled Group C in a feature headlined “Trade Publisher Survives The Lean Years.” The photo that accompanied the profile shows Ed, seated, at work with Susan and Ted Coene. Posted on:

In its 40-year history, entrepreneurship and innovation have been the hallmark of Group C’s emergence as a full-service provider to the site selection community. Ed Coene’s original formula for success still guides the development of a dynamic brand with international reach in print, online and unique events that are essential components of successful project development. From the November/December 2010 issue.

Projecting A Green Energy Future

Posted on:

A special report from the Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, in Austin, TX. The Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, held earlier this year in Austin, TX, brought together top players and industry experts from the exploding green-energy sector. The conference was a great place to take the pulse of this dynamic emerging industry as the transition to alternative energy accelerates, fueled by massive government stimulus efforts. Many speakers at the Austin gathering also weighed in with their predictions on where current trends will lead us. In a presentation entitled Green Stimulus: One Year Later, Ken Bruder, general manager, Americas, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance noted that the United States has targeted more than $60 billion in stimulus funds toward clean energy initiatives. However, Bruder expressed concern that most of these initiatives are on the supply side of the equation. Renewables still are not competitive with fossil fuels “on an unsubsidized basis,” he reported. Bruder indicated that more needs to be done to spur the demand for clean energy as well as the supply, including the establishment of a national renewable energy standard. Bruder’s advocacy for the standard recently was echoed by a coalition of 29 U.S. governors, who want a national goal of 10% of electricity derived from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025. Bruder said that of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds already allocated in the federal stimulus program, about $20 billion has gone to energy efficiency efforts; $987 million to carbon capture and storage; $4.5 billion to the creation of a new transmission grid; and $4.6 billion to clean energy projects. The mix will change dramatically as remaining ARRA funds are distributed: $20.8 billion will go to renewable energy; $6.2 billion will be spent on the power grid; $2.4 billion will go to carbon capture; and $5.4 billion will go to energy efficiency. Lisa Frantzis of Navigant Consulting gave a presentation entitled Job Creation Opportunities in Hydropower. Frantzis said the U.S. currently has the second largest installed hydropower capacity in the world (100 GW), accounting for about 7 percent of U.S. electricity production and supporting almost 300,000 jobs. Frantzis estimated there is at least 400 GW of untapped hydropower in the U.S., both inland and oceanic. Through a combination of efficiency improvements/new capacity; new facilities in existing dams without hydropower; Greenfield sites; inland hydrokinetic facilities; and pumped storage, more than 45,900 megawatts of hydroelectric power can be culled from inland resources by 2025, adding about 143,000 new… …Read More…

A Golden Corridor of Innovation

Posted on:

Industry-specific clusters are thriving along I-90 in northern Illinois due to close collaboration and proximity. One of the most successful industry-specific manufacturing hubs in the United States is located in an area known as the Golden Corridor, which stretches along I-90 in northern Illinois. In 2009, business and financial services employed 31,758 in the Golden Corridor; information technology and telecommunications, 17,185; biomedical and biotech, 12,009; defense and security, 10,191; advanced materials manufacturing, 7,320; and computer and electronics manufacturing, 4,186. A burgeoning cluster of precision machine tool producers and their suppliers has taken root in the Corridor, centered on several locations—Schaumburg, Elgin, Rolling Meadows, and Hoffman Estates. Among the major precision tool makers to establish operations in the Golden Corridor are industry giants Mori Seiki, FANUC Robotics, Amada, BIG Kaiser and Mazak Optonics. Amada decided to place its Amada Solution Center in Schaumburg because it was impressed with the Golden Corridor’s reputation for fostering an environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, key factors in attracting highly skilled workers, a company spokesman said. The 133,000-square-foot Solution Center, the design of which was inspired by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, provides access to technological expertise and research, real-time demonstrations of metal fabrication systems, and advanced training and development to companies throughout North America. Amada America Inc. produces sheet metal fabrication equipment, including CNC turret punch presses, laser-cutting systems, press brakes, robotic bending systems, flexible manufacturing systems and software. According to several toolmakers, close proximity to suppliers and access to a huge market also were major attractions for locating within the Golden Corridor. “They all work together on various aspects of toolmaking. One may make a material holder while another performs a lathe process or another supplies the robotics to implement the cutting of the tool,” explains Gary Skoog, Hoffman Estates economic development manager. Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and Rolling Meadows currently are spearheading an effort to create the Golden Corridor Innovation and Science Park. Unlike a traditional science and technology business park, this entity is planned as more of a “virtual” park that will enable companies to network with each other to promote innovation. Such a network—using International Association of Science Parks guidelines–would facilitate communications and collaboration regarding supply chain management, cooperative outsourcing, and available labor pool, among other issues. Formative plans for the Innovation and Science Park envision a “three-legged stool:” the first leg is the network; the second leg consists of institutions of higher education in the area, many of whom have licenses for patented processes, are growing entrepreneurship programs, and… …Read More…