Regional Ecosystem Collaboration
Each industrial business and each East Bay community is a participant in the region’s broader industrial ecosystem. Recognizing each community’s competitive advantages for different industries within a larger “system” enables cities to see where they fit in this broader system and encourages them to identify how their strengths can be augmented by the strengths of other communities. This fosters a cultural of collaboration, resulting in the East Bay economy becoming greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Ecosystem Collaboration Objectives
No East Bay community or business can be successful on its own. Businesses rely on a collection of public investments that provide the core infrastructure for them to be successful: roads, bridges, utility services, shipping channels, and even sometimes buildings or technologies. Similarly, each East Bay community benefits from the region’s diversity and economic success: industries in each community need markets for their products, workers, and material inputs that come from or travel through neighboring areas in order to succeed.
The East Bay’s economic diversity and range of local land use contexts provide the region with the capacity to support all stages and facets of the industrial life cycle, from early state startups to mature companies. Each community has its own unique workforce, transportation strengths, and land or building assets. A startup company might be most successful in one particular community, but may need to move to another area within the East Bay as it grows or diversifies its operations. A startup in a different industry may be more successful elsewhere in the East Bay, due to the workforce, transportation assets, or utility characteristics in that particular location. The region will be most successful if it continues to foster economic diversity and effectively utilize the unique strengths of each of its constituent communities.
Establishing a culture of collaboration between local governments, private firms, and local institutions can help the region plan and advocate more effectively to address industrial issues. Collaborative networks can help foster connections between brokers and economic development staff to help businesses find the best East Bay location as their companies evolve. In addition, connections between local governments and regional organizations can help them identify state advocacy opportunities and identify industrial planning priorities. Lastly, improved regional collaboration around utilities, or infrastructure investments can help ensure that businesses can obtain the necessary power or water-related service to support their operation, improve intra- and inter-regional goods movement, streamline development timelines, and identify critical investments to help the region best use its industrial lands.
Regional Ecosystem Recommendations
The Resilient East Bay process has identified three broad categories of strategies that the region should pursue collectively. The strategies are presented as recommendations. Recommendations for regional ecosystem collaboration focus on the following topics:
Support Effective Business Ecosystems
- This section describes strategies to help support small businesses and foster innovation in the East Bay. Strategies include regional marketing, industrial roundtables, startup resources, and technology transfer.
- This section also provides recommendations for how individual cities can identify their competitive advantages within the context of the regional ecosystem. Because businesses at different points in the business cycle may require different competitive advantages, cities can work together to retain businesses within the East Bay as they grow and expand.
Transportation & Goods Movement
- This section provides recommendations to improve goods movement for local businesses, distribute infrastructure investments across the region to support economic development, protect important locations for transportation, and maintain strong inter-regional goods movement opportunities.
Utilities & Industrial Resilience
- This section focuses on how policy and collaboration can be used to eliminate pinch points in utility provision and plan for industrial efficiency and sustainability. Strategy recommendations include state-level advocacy, utility district planning, and developer education about utility processes.