2017 General RFP – Project 09

Project Title: Innovative Places: Methodological Framework for Measuring Environmental Determinants and Operationalizing an Innovation Index (i-Index)

Principal Investigator: Shima Hamidi, University of Texas at Arlington

Co-Principal Investigator:

Project Type: Research

CTEDD Grant Cycle: CTEDD 2017 General RFP

Project Status: In Progress


The role of built environment on promoting innovation has been widely discoursed theoretically and empirically. Yet, there is no comprehensive measure of innovation friendliness for cities at the national scale. For any quantitative study on economic and quality-of-life impacts of innovation, we first need a valid and reliable measure of innovation friendliness. In this research we consider Innovation, development of the customer demand new products, goods or services. For instance the growing customer demand for the light and highly user friendly laptops is a valid reason to see more innovative computer science corporations, more economically prosper. Therefore we look at the occupational innovations between Technological Knowledge Intensive Business Service (T-KIBS) those with high use of scientific and technological knowledge – R&D services, engineering services, computer services, etc.

Building on the extensive research done by the PI and Co-PI (Hamidi and Zandiatashbar 2017a, Hamidi and Zandiatashbar 2017b, Zandiatashbar and Hamidi 2018), this proposal seeks to fulfill the crucial gap by developing a multidimensional innovation index (i-Index). We propose to develop a methodological framework that could be used to comprehensively and objectively measure environmental determinants of innovation. Over the course of three years, we will create an online, user-friendly and interactive tool to publish the i-Index. To develop such indices, we intend taking three phases over a three year course including conceptualization (year one), measurement and indices generation (year two) and development of the tool and user manual (year three).

The first phase is the foundational research base which this proposal seeks funding from CTEDD to accomplish in this proposal. The conceptualization will start with identifying and forming the expert panel as well as recruiting the executive team. Concurrently, we will develop the draft framework through literature review, consultation with innovators and scholars in the field. Then, based on the draft framework, we will design a Stated Preference (SP) survey instrument and will explore strategies to expand the respondent pool. Our target respondents are the association of innovators as well as the panel of experts. The survey will remain open for two month and after two months, the core research team will synthesize the results, estimate a Multinomial Logit Model of results and prepare the final framework of the dimensions and associated built environmental indicators that promote innovation. A webinar presentation, chamber of commerce and Metropolitan Planning Organization presentation would be the complementary disseminative activities of this project process and final results.