The Challenges of Ensuring a Talent Pipeline

To ensure vibrant, economic growth, we fully recognize that innovative industry clusters require access to human capital with appropriate education and training. This fact, and challenges associated with it, has once again been highlighted with viable solutions recommended in a recent report prepared by TEConomy Partners, LLC for AgriNovus Indiana.

The report finds that for Indiana to maintain its position as a 21st century agbioscience leader, Indiana must have a 21st Century agbioscience workforce equipped to understand, apply, and develop leading technologies. This will require Indiana to go beyond traditional paradigms of education by integrating agbioscience skills development across the full talent pipeline composed of K–12, colleges and universities, and continued professional development.

TEConomy has recommended that to maintain its leadership within the agbiosciences, Indiana must work concurrently on implementing four critical strategies:

  1. Create a greater pipeline of students interested in agbioscience careers.
  2. Develop industry-relevant skill sets for core occupation talent.
  3. Increase agbioscience career engagement for allied occupation fields.
  4. Catalyze continued career advancement.

These four strategies are best understood as interrelated efforts that reinforce each other and create a progression as depicted in the figure below. No one single action or strategy will fully address Indiana’s agbioscience talent demands and gaps. Instead, a multidimensional approach is needed that reflects the variety of opportunities and needs that Indiana’s agbioscience industry faces.

Indiana’s Agbioscience Talent Pipeline


Source: TEConomy Partners, LLC

The agbioscience industry’s ability to develop, cultivate, and acquire specialized human talent with specific and unique skill sets throughout the entire talent pipeline is paramount to its ability to continue to grow and prosper in the State of Indiana.

To learn more, click here to download the full report.

TEConomy Partners on an International Stage

While TEConomy is U.S. based, we have a global consulting practice that sees our team engaging with clients worldwide.  The importance of science and technology to modern economic development, recognition of industry cluster-based economic development to optimize national economic performance, and the need to identify ways to compete in the global economy are just some of the reasons clients seek our expertise.

Our international experience is diverse, including projects in both developing and developed nations. We have found that our methods of work translate well into a broad-range of economic and innovation environments.

Some examples that serve to show the diversity of our international engagements and the experiences of our principals include:

Intl Picture

To discuss your project needs and interests, please click on the Contact tab above.

Where’s the growth in U.S. academic science and engineering?

By Simon Tripp and Marty Grueber

Specializing in science- and technology-based economic development, TEConomy Partners pays close attention to trends in academe.  The following graphic shows TEConomy Partner’s analysis of NSF nationwide data in regards to growth in U.S. academic R&D expenditures (the x axis) and growth in degrees conferred (y axis).  The size of each sphere is the total amount of research expenditure in 2014 (the latest year with complete data reporting).


US growth acad S&E

Some thoughts:

  • Engineering disciplines have generally experienced the strongest growth in research funding, and have seen quite robust growth in degrees conferred (although electrical engineering is flat in this regard).
  • Life science disciplines, as expected, are in a strong position on both dimensions, and receive by far the highest amount of research funds. Agricultural sciences, however, has seen the third slowest rate of growth.
  • Interdisciplinary science has attracted strong interest from students – something we have also heard in conversations with universities. When talking to industry we also hear a demand for cross-training of students, particularly graduate students, to enable transdisciplinary thinking.
  • Physical sciences have lower relative growth in both research and degrees, something perhaps of concern given the importance of basic science advancements that have underpinned U.S. economic advancement.
  • Computer Science and Electrical Engineering appear to be losing student interest, something that could pose a challenge in our digital economy and the increasingly connected world of the internet-of-things and machine-to-machine (M2M intelligence). It suggests a potential workforce shortage in these important disciplines.
  • With climate change concerns, the comparatively weak position of “Atmospheric Sciences” on both dimensions is extraordinary.