Most localities have Economic Development professionals that work in tandem with regional partnerships to show buildings and sites to prospective companies. There are seven regional economic development agencies in North Carolina including the Piedmont Triad Partnership, the Charlotte Regional Partnership and the Research Triangle Partnership. These regional organizations work with the state Department of Commerce to conduct strategic marketing and solicit business leads based upon targeted business/industrial clusters. Winston-Salem and other large cities “target cluster” as well. This state-regional-local paradigm has been productive since the 1980s. North Carolina has consistently been ranked as one of the top states in which to do business.
As traditional industrial production moves to other countries, many cities are becoming more reliant on entrepreneurial advanced technologies to grow. A new development paradigm is needed for high-technology growth, like the “innovation intermediary” suggested by Richard Bendis et al. An “innovation intermediary” brings groups together to work on new initiatives and maximize economic growth through the leverage of regional resources. These intermediaries must combine scientific knowledge, market awareness, business know-how and complementary investment programs under one roof. They can be located in a business research park, business incubator, technical college or university setting.