Baker Scholar Projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2023


Knoxville competes with other mid-sized metropolitan areas for economic development and business attraction at the national level. Cities such as Greenville, SC, Huntsville, AL, and Ann Arbor, MI have similar resources and attributes to Knoxville, yet they are consistently surpassing Knoxville in business attraction and expansion. It is necessary for policy makers to understand what factors are contributing to underperformance in order to better support Knoxville’s efforts to create an innovation fund. Comparing available assets and access to funding for each MSA reveals that Knoxville has the necessary resources through the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to compete successfully, but lacks the history of sustained support for early-stage funding and innovation at the state level.

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