The Palouse has clusters of interconnected business, supplier and institutions that increase our productivity so that we can compete nationally and globally. These clusters drive innovation in the fields of Value-Added Agriculture, Animal and Human Health, Outdoor Recreation, and Technology and Innovation. Our two research universities, University of Idaho and Washington State University, lead the way with cutting edge research and a highly educated workforce. Our small geographic size provides us with a competitive advantage because it provides us with special access, closer relationships, better information, powerful incentives, and other advantages that are difficult to tap from a distance. As stated by Michal E. Porter in the Harvard Business Review, “competitive advantage lies increasingly in local things – knowledge, relationships, and motivation that distant rivals cannot replicate”. The Palouse Knowledge Corridor is using this advantage to stimulate new businesses in these clusters and supporting the growth of our existing firms.
Technology and Innovation
How long can you go without pushing a button on your mobile device? If you’re anything like us, the answer is “Not long.” Technology and Innovation are rapidly changing society, from how we connect with friends to how we watch television. It’s a dizzying new trend and one that is unlikely to fade soon. Innovators and inventors can meet the needs of this new and growing market. See examples from the 2014 Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Crucible Winner.
Hummus goes great at parties. It feeds everyone — from the gluten-free and vegan to the most eager carnivore. Maybe that’s why hummus sales were up 25 percent from 2010 to 2012, totaling $530 million, according to research firm Information Resources Inc. Hummus is made from the humble chickpea, which finds its main home in North America in the soils of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, there were 150,000 acres of chickpeas on the Palouse in 2013, according to the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council. That’s about two-thirds of the national crop. And did you know that 2016 is the Year of the Pulse? Demand for Value-Added Agriculture products, like hummus, organic strawberry jam fresh from the farm, or locally grown and milled wheat, is projected to keep rising. As consumers grow more informed, it is up to us to answer their call for high-quality, Northwest-based value-added agriculture products. See examples from the 2014 Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Crucible Winner:
What could hair-pulling in humans – known as trichotillomania – and over-grooming in cats, dogs and even parrots have in common? A whole lot, as it turns out. Recent and ongoing research is connecting the dots between human and animal health. The emerging connections – from heart disease to self-harm, intergroup relationships to sudden death due to Takotsubo syndrome (in humans) or capture myopathy (in animals) – are bridging the gap between human and animal health practitioners. From the book (and conference series) Zoobiquity to research occurring on the Palouse at Washington State University, the field is exploding. And the Palouse Knowledge Corridor wants to bring the two sides together. See examples from the 2015 Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Crucible Winner
As noted in the recent book Outdoor Adventure Education by Alan Ewert and R. James Sibthorp, “technology plays an increasingly influential role in outdoor recreation and adventure. The last 10 years, in particular, have seen a virtual explosion of technological developments in the outdoors, ranging from clothes to equipment such as signaling devices and protective gear.”
Photo credit: Gary J. Kohn GJK Imagery