Can you measure innovation? Greater Milwaukee Committee initiative to make the intangible tangible

Posted on Nov 30, 2015

From The Milwaukee Business Journal
Published November 27, 2015

Spearheaded by Marquette University president Mike Lovell, the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee initiative (MiKE) is exploring the potential in measuring what is generally considered to be an intangible quality — innovation.

As the Milwaukee Business Journal has frequently written, “innovation” may be a near-constant business buzzword, but it’s not the easiest to define. Indeed, we’ve tried. But MiKE is exploring a specific set of measurements, which form an “innovation index” meant to make the concept more concrete.

“The idea behind the innovation index is to allow us as a region to look at how innovative we are. We’ll be more focused on initiatives to improve our innovation,” Lovell said. “The competitiveness of the region will just get better.”

The metrics are essentially a regionalized version of the widely regarded Global Innovation Index. The index would measure how Milwaukee stacks up on four key metrics: human capital, the resources and support available to entrepreneurs, productivity/employment and economic well-being. An overview is available here.