This report on Wichita, Kansas is the second of five regional reports completed as part of the Clusters of Innovation Initiative, a private-led collaboration aiming to inform key decision makers across the U.S. on the value of cluster-based regional economic competitiveness. This project is unique in its coverage of five regions and 15 individual clusters using a common methodology, individually and comparatively.
Like San Diego before it, Wichita is an illustrative example from which other similarly sized regions can learn. Wichita has experienced fairly steady economic prosperity during the last 80 years. Wichita lays claim to early innovative entrepreneurs, most markedly in aerospace vehicles and defense, whose innovations contributed to the region's present broad-based manufacturing capacity and economic prosperity. This report seeks to explain the roots of Wichita's solid economy, describe the challenges faced by the region, and provide guidance to help Wichita firms and institutions maintain economic prosperity in the future.