Global Institute on Innovation Districts

The American Assembly is helping to incubate the Global Institute on Innovation Districts (GIID), a new research-driven, network-based institute that will support the growth and impact of innovation districts around the world.

Driven by broad economic, cultural and demographic trends, cities around the world are witnessing the emergence of innovation districts—places that sit at the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and placemaking. Innovation districts are small, walkable areas where anchor institutions, firms, labs, and other actors collaborate as a collective to increase their competitive potential. This shared commitment to “collaborate to compete” is one of the defining characteristics of innovation districts that the Global Institute on Innovation Districts will support and advance.

Innovation districts are developing around anchors such as universities, medical centers, and large companies located along waterfronts, in the downtowns and midtowns of cities, or in walkable suburban areas. Strong in biosciences, technologies, and creative industries, these districts cluster cutting-edge research institutions and R&D-intensive companies with start-ups, scale-ups, and business incubators. They are physically compact, transit-accessible, and offer mixed-use housing, office, laboratory, and retail spaces. And importantly, they are an ambitious group: positioning themselves to grow into vibrant and highly competitive locales with stronger economic ties to the region, the country, and other global regions.

GIID brings together an interdisciplinary group of thinkers, practitioners, and global leaders, to develop a roadmap that strategically advances innovation districts worldwide. Please visit for more information. If you have any questions, or would like to stay informed of our progress, please send your contact information to

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The American Assembly
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 456 New York, NY 10115
212-870-3500 -