Help universities and hospitals grow in place
Universities and hospitals are fixed assets that can fuel economic growth and create good jobs, most often within metropolitan areas. Helping major "med and ed" institutions grow in place is likely to spur highly desirable development nearby.
It can be difficult, however, for a community to leverage the opportunities created by either a university or a hospital if there are strained relationships between the institution and the community, a lack of available land for growth, little coordination between the institution's planning and the community's infrastructure spending, and disinvestment in the immediately surrounding area.
Such barriers can be overcome by establishing nonprofit, community economic development corporations to facilitate collaboration between major institutions and the community. This has helped "eds and meds" grow and provide jobs in a way that is balanced and responsive to their neighbors and community partners and that catalyzes area-wide investment.
Most state economic development agencies provide venture capital to technology businesses. Similarly, many economic development agencies provide capital that could be used to help establish nonprofit, community economic development corporations.
While both types of investments support job creation, the latter differs in that it is a place-based economic development strategy. The objective is to provide seed money to cover the initial administrative costs of the organization and support some planning activities.
The State can also help "eds and meds" grow by providing funds for infrastructure, neighborhood and campus planning, brownfield assessments and cleanups, and even market analysis. The economic development agency and other state agencies could change the criteria of their discretionary and capital spending programs to allow nonprofit community economic development organizations to qualify for those state funds.
- New York's Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus
The Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is a non-profit corporation in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., that consists of the region's premier healthcare, life sciences research and medical education institutions. The institutions on the campus have been instrumental in shepherding a revitalization of the city's medical district and establishing it as a recognized center for biotechnology. According to the BNMC website, each year, the institutions spend approximately $600 million and more than 8,000 people currently work on the campus every day.
— New York's Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus