Recipients of Rural Innovation grants program announced

Posted: April 18, 2016

Three grant proposals have been selected to receive funding through the Northeast Center's "Drivers of Rural Innovation and Implications for Community and Regional Economic Development" award program, which was established to support data access and research in rural business innovation and economic development. Their selection was based on the unanimous recommendation of a review committee.
  • Alessandra Faggian, The Ohio State University, will explore the impacts of knowledge-management strategies on firm-level innovation in the US. She will focus on “which sources firms target for information about new opportunities or new ways of doing things,” and the “integration of technologies that facilitate data-driven decision-making and the dissemination of knowledge among employees, suppliers, and customers.” Kathryn R. Dotzel, a graduate student, also will contribute to this work.
  • Roberto Gallardo, Mississippi State University, and Brian Whitacre, Oklahoma State University, will explore the determinants of innovation, in part by constructing an “‘innovation index’ that will help to distinguish between more and less innovative businesses.” They also will explore the “economic outcomes associated with innovative businesses.”
  • Timothy Slaper, Indiana University, and his team will link the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey data to the socio-economic data found in the Indiana Business Research Center’s Innovation Index 2.0 to “learn the predictors and characteristics of user-entrepreneurship in rural areas.” Team members include Professors David Audretsch and Barry Rubin and Graduate Students Venkata Nadella, Chantalle LaFontant and Apexa Mamtora.

The Center had an outstanding review committee, and we are deeply grateful for the careful work they have done in evaluating the proposals.

The award program was established by the USDA Economic Research Service to develop a community of scholars engaged in high-priority research—using the REIS data—on the factors associated with innovation among rural business establishments and the impact on community and regional growth and development. The Northeast Center is administering the program in collaboration with Tim Wojan, ERS Senior Economist and member of the Northeast Center Board of Directors.