Economic development strategies allow institutions, municipalities, regions, provinces, and federal governments to participate in the technology revolution sweeping the world. Our report entitled “Technology-Driven Growth: The Rules of the Game”, indicates that technology drives over half of global economic growth. It does so by creating new products and new industries, like microchips and software, and by improving the performance of long established industries, from banking to retailing. Since World War II, governments have embraced technology development as an instrument to support economic growth. Doyletech has assisted economic development agencies to develop plans to participate in this growth. Our experience has shown that such plans fall into three broad categories:
- A Grow-Your-Own Strategy – where the emphasis is on the creation and growth of locally-owned companies;
- An Importation Strategy – where the emphasis is on attracting branch plants and branch offices;
- A Linkages Strategy – where the emphasis is on establishing linkages with technology-based companies (or resources) in other communities. Doyletech has developed proprietary economic development products and services in these areas.
While technology-based economic development is a core competency, we are experienced in the full spectrum of activities from municipal administration and community facilitation to economic development strategy and planning.
Doyletech’s ED/Grow-Your-Own Cluster strategies have provided economic developers with realistic action plans leading to the creation and growth of local companies. In several cases, the development of a New Ventures Advisory Committee has been recommended. It is designed to assist the economic developer in the creation of new local business ventures. Its members are expected to provide financial, marketing, business planning, and general business advice to entrepreneurs who are starting a new business. Our multi-year ‘grow-your-own’ development program for the Government of Saskatchewan led to the transfer of several technologies from the University of Saskatchewan, the creation of more than 40 companies over a five-year period, and the development of Saskatoon as a major technology cluster with a technology engine focused around the University of Saskatchewan and Innovation Place.
Doyletech’s ED/Benchmark Service helps economic developers assess area strengths and weaknesses, identify critical factors holding back economic growth, and prioritize targets for economic development. The data that we collect to develop the economic base assessment can be classified as follows: (1) Costs (utilities, housing, land, labour, taxes, etc.); (2) Qualities (worker skills, industrial/office/technology); (3) Outputs (employment, GDP, etc.); (4) Access (to airports, railroads, etc.); and (5) Supporting Infrastructure (broadband, business services, entrepreneurship, etc.). Our team of researchers must collect data on all these variables in order to develop an accurate base assessment.
Doyletech’s ED/Export Assessment Service is designed to assist economic developers measure the exporting capacity of a given area. It provides tools for identifying companies that are already exporting products or services outside the area as well as those that could transform their current local businesses into export businesses. A common characteristic of such companies is that they must have the capacity to add value to locally acquired products and services so that they can address markets that are outside the area. We help them in identifying those markets and in drawing up the specifications for the related products and services. As the export capacity becomes better known, economic developers can actually prepare a roadmap showing how that capacity might evolve in the future. Very often, it evolves in response to a unique local requirement that is not being properly met by an existing supplier from outside the area. On the other hand, it may be met by a local supplier (e.g. a machine shop) who could identify similar needs outside the area.
Doyletech’s ED/Linkages is our proven toolset to support community economic development through the enhancement of supply linkages between regional companies (suppliers) and neighboring urban economic centres. The success of the program depends on a comprehensive understanding of the supply capabilities of regional suppliers and the needs of receptor companies in the urban economic centre. This would not be possible if it were not for the extensive data gathering capabilities of our consultants, who are able to identify the capabilities and the needs based on extensive interviewing, proprietary survey instruments, and the analysis of secondary data. The first step in the program is procurement behaviour forecasting, this is the application of proprietary data gathering, analysis, and forecasting tools to estimate the current and future procurement activity of the principle economic hub. The second step is the supply potential analysis where we collect specific data on regional (often rural) suppliers (such as attitudes, skills inventories, technology and machine inventories, plant capacities, constraints, etc.). For more information on this service, click on the following link: Discussion Paper: The ED Linkages Experience in Eastern Ontario
In addition to our strategy development, we can assist economic developers in the following additional ways:
- Business retention and expansion programs;
- Site evaluations;
- Prospect identification;
- Mock prospect visits;
- Evaluations / audits of specific development activities or functions;
- Positioning / marketing / selling programs;
- Policy analysis (e.g. business licensing, property taxation, etc.);
- Public relations programs targeted at federal and provincial governments;
- Community development absorption modeling;
- Economic and demographic trend studies; and
- Community facts books.