Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Cluster Initiative: Providing a Framework for Minnesota's Economic Competitiveness
This Policy and Impact Study by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, State and Local Policy Program at the University of Minnesota is the second in a series of four developed as part of the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project, an effort supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The report illustrates how Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) has benefited from applying a cluster approach as a conceptual framework for diagnosing the regional economy and as a platform for joint action to address the challenges identified. The cluster framework provided public and private regional leaders with a common language for understanding regional competitiveness, significantly enhancing the effectiveness of their dialogue. By organizing the policy discussion around clusters, the programs that were developed became targeted enough to have an effect on the issues that mattered for MSP. The cluster-based approach was first applied in workforce development, but over time has been used in other policy areas as well, including in the creation of a broader regional economic development strategy.
This study by the State and Local Policy Program at UMN's Humphrey School of Public Affairs uses quantitative and qualitative data to profile the 12 largest industry clusters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) region, as well as emerging clusters of interest. Quantitative data was gathered using the U.S. Cluster Mapping website tools. Presenting economic findings and recommendations for the MSP region, the study can also serve as a companion piece to the U.S. Cluster Mapping Minneapolis-St. Paul Policy and Impact Study.
Sponsors: State and Local Policy Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs; University of Minnesota Center for Integrative Leadership; University of Minnesota Metro Consortium; ULI/Regional Council of Mayors.
The Humphrey School's State and Local Policy Program recently completed a study of twelve competitive industry clusters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region and the potential for knowledge flows across occupations in basic (exporting) industries within the region. The study was funded with a grant from the University of Minnesota's Metro Consortium. The authors of this study will present their findings and two panels of industry and policy leaders will discuss the potential for emerging clusters and the policy implications for the study.
08:00 - 08:30 AM Coffee and rolls
08:30 - 08:45 AM Welcome and opening remarks, Dean Eric Schwartz, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Vision for the Greater MSP Region, Michael Langley, President, GREATER MSP.
08:45 - 09:15 AM Summary of MSP Regional Cluster Competitiveness Study: Lee Munnich, Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Jonathan Dworin, Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Nebiyou Tilahun, University of Illinois, Chicago.
09:15 - 10:15 AM PANEL 1: Emerging Industries in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Region. Moderator: Matt Schmit, Minnesota State Senator, District 21. Robotics - Mike Davin, Editor, The Business of Robotics. Biorenewables - Brendan Jordan, Great Plains Institute and BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota. Water Technology - Steve Riedel, Minnesota Trade Office, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 - 11:30 AM PANEL 2: Where do we go from here? Moderator: Steve Kelley, Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Jim Hovland, Mayor of Edina; Co-Chair of Regional Council of Mayors. Tom Fisher, Dean, University of Minnesota College of Design. Peter Frosch, GREATER MSP. Libby Starling, Metro Council. Phil Barnes, Minnesota Department of Transportation.
11:30 - 12:00 PM Audience discussion and closing remarks
The BNSF Foundation has partnered with the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs to explore the role freight transportation plays in economic and community life in Minnesota, and the means for understanding and enhancing the value of freight transportation to the Minnesota economy, particularly the private freight rail networks. The forum on September 20th was part of the research objective to engage Minnesota's transportation community in understanding how to further add value to the state's economy and transportation planning.
Discussion focused on how to maximize the role freight can play in Minnesota's economy, the impact of freight rail in the state, the most effective policies to improve the freight transportation network, and the economic benefits of an efficient system.
Watch videos of the forum presentations by clicking on the links below
The key findings to this point are:
We plan to post a video recording of the event soon.
Did you know that...
Freight rail transported 228 million tons of freight in Minnesota in 2012
Minnesota has the 8th largest rail system in nation with 4,481 route miles of track
Minnesota is 1st in the nation in movement of iron ore, 3rd in farm products and 4th in food
The lesson: Freight transportation is vitally important to jobs and economic competitiveness in Minnesota.
Please join us to hear local and national perspectives on freight transportation and economic competitiveness from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Matt Rose, CEO of BNSF Railway, and former Congressman James L. Oberstar. The event will also include two panel discussions featuring businesses and local policymakers. The business panel features Scott Nagel (President, ADM-Benson Quinn) and Mahendra Mishra (Assistant VP, Essar Steel). The policy panel features Sen. Scott Dibble, Rep. Mike Beard, and St. Paul Port Authority President Louie Jambois.
Discussion will focus on how to maximize the role freight can play in Minnesota's economy, the impact of freight rail in the state, the most effective policies to improve the freight transportation network, and the economic benefits of an efficient system. Below is the agenda for the event.
8:30-9:00am: Registration & Coffee, Humphrey Atrium
9:00-9:05am: Welcome and Opening Remarks, James L. Oberstar, Cowles Auditorium
9:05-9:30am: Presentation: The Value of Freight Economy in Minnesota--Lee Munnich and Tom Horan, SLPP
9:30-9:45am: Keynote: Matt Rose, CEO, BNSF Railway
9:45-10:00am: Keynote: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
10:00-10:45am: Panel Discussion: Business/Shipper Perspectives
· Participants: Scott Nagel (President, ADM-Benson Quinn), Steve Weiby, (VP, C.H. Robinson), Mahendra Mishra (Assistant VP, Essar Steel), Greg Pace (USMC Fellow, U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
10:45-11:30am: Panel Discussion: Policy Perspectives
· Participants: Sen. Scott Dibble, Rep. Mike Beard, Louie Jambois (President, St. Paul Port Authority), William Gardner (Director, Office of Freight & Commercial Vehicle Operations, MnDOT)
11:30-11:45am: Closing Remarks, Congressman James L. Oberstar, Cowles Auditorium
Fall Semester 2013 · 3 Credits
Thursdays, 6:00 ‑ 8:45 p. m.
Room 184 Humphrey Center
Co-instructors: Lee Munnich and Matt Schmit
Course Syllabus here
The course examines both advanced and developing economies and addresses competitiveness at multiple levels - nations, sub-national units such as states or provinces, particular cluster, and neighboring countries. The course is concerned not only with government policy, but also with the roles that firms, industry, associations, universities, and other institutions play in competitiveness. In modern competition, each of these institutions has an important and evolving role in economic development. Moreover, the process of creating and sustaining an economic strategy for a nation, state or region is a daunting challenge. The course explores not only theory and policy but also the organizational structures, institutional structures, and change processes required for sustained improvements in competitiveness.
The course is based on the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC) case-study course developed by Professor Michael E. Porter and his colleagues at the Harvard Business School. The course explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness building from the perspective of firms, clusters, sub-national units, nations, and groups of neighboring countries. It focuses on the sources of national or regional productivity, which are rooted in the strategies and operating practices of locally based firms, the vitality of clusters, and the quality of the business environment in which competition takes place.
The course is taught using case studies drawn from all major regions of the world. Part of the purpose of the course is to expose students to some of the most successful countries and regions. In addition to cases, there are readings, occasional video lectures by Michael Porter, and videotaped appearances by guests who are national, regional, or business leaders involved in the cases studied. Students will learn how to use online tools for analyzing industry clusters such as the U.S. Cluster Mapping website developed through a partnership with the Economic Development Administration and Dr. Porter's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness.
The class format will consist of case studies, lectures, guest speakers, and a strong emphasis on teamwork and class participation. Students will be asked to prepare for as well as conduct case study presentations and discussion with the class. Team members will be expected to prepare and present a regional economic and cluster analysis and strategy, to give an oral presentation to a guest jury, and to assess their own performance as a team. This year's class will include a focus on the role of transportation in economic development, and student teams will be asked to identify policy implications for transportation in their projects.
The Humphrey School's State and Local Policy Program regularly hires research assistants (RAs) to conduct economic competitiveness and industry cluster analysis. This course provides a strong base for students interested in these RAships.
Humphrey graduate students proposed strategies for three transit stations and a corridor-wide approach for bike and pedestrian connections for the proposed Gateway Corridor transitway for a capstone workshop taught by Lee Munnich and Lyssa Leitner. The team projects were completed and presented to clients from the cities of St. Paul, Maplewood and Oakdale, and Washington County.
Mounds Boulevard Station: Public Realm Upgrades for Bicyclists and Pedestrians by Brian Deppe, Robert Edstrom, Ashley James, Brent Oltz, and Jesse Williams
Maplewood 3M Station Report by Aubrey Austin, Lisa Elliott, Jennifer Melin Miller, and Jill Smith
OakCommons: StationAreaPlan* by Andrew Freerks, Kristen Mason, Aaron Meyers, Kylie Patterson, and Vincent Vu
Gateway Corridor: Non-Motorized Connections to the Transitway by Nicole Campbell, Jeremy Jenkins, Timothy Santiago, and Josie Warren
* The Oak Commons team project won the 2013 Lloyd B. Short award for the Humphrey School group capstone project judged to be the best of the year.