The American Journal of Agricultural Economics has accepted the Alward Institute’s latest research paper for review.

An Innovative Method for Valuing a Region's Local Food System

The Alward Institute for Collaborative Science is very excited to announce that the American Journal of Agricultural Economics has accepted our latest research paper for review: A Method for Evaluating the Economic Contribution of a Local Food System.  The paper presents an innovative method for evaluating the contribution of a region’s local food system and was authored by regional economists Phil Watson, David Kay, Gregory Alward, Stephen Cooke, and Alfonso Morales.

In recent years there has been increased interest on the part of policy makers and researchers in quantifying the extent to which a region’s local food system interacts with and contributes to the regional economy.  However, given the endogenous nature of local food demands, modeling the contribution that local food systems have on a regional economy has been problematic.

In this paper, we present a combined hypothetical extraction and import substitution social accounting matrix model which provides a theoretically consistent and computationally feasible method for evaluating the regional economic contribution of a local food system. Furthermore, the method we present is insensitive to definitional arguments regarding what specific transactions should be included in a local food system.  Finally, using a broad definition of what constitutes a local food system, we apply this model to the state of Wisconsin and compare the economic contribution of the local food system with the economic contribution of the export food system.

A draft of the paper is available here.  For more information or to comment, please visit our LinkedIn post, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us at 970-217-3942.


Online Map to Visualize Economic Impact of Federal EB-5 Immigration Program

The Alward Institute for Collaborative Science is proud to announce the release of it’s first online GIS map.  Using results from our 2012 economic impact study of the EB-5 Immigration Program, we’ve been able to visualize the impact of the federal program on all 50 states and 435 congressional districts.

According to our results, the Alward Institute of Collaborative Science estimates that spending associated with EB-5 regional center investors contributed $3.39 billion to U.S. GDP and supported over 42,000 U.S. jobs in FY2012.  Likewise, spending by EB-5 investors also contributed $447 million to federal government tax revenues and $265 million to state and local government tax revenues in FY2012.  These estimates include direct, indirect, and induced impacts associated with investment spending, household spending, and other immigration expenses.

To see how these impacts are distributed across states and congressional districts, please follow the link below and then click on the icon to view our 2012 EB-5 Investment Impact map:

For more information or to comment, please visit our website at, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us at 970-217-3942.

From economic development to government and private industry collaboration, the 2015 Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER) National conference showcased how the “Magic” of applied research can impact regional and state economies. 

University researchers from across the United States convened to talk about regional economic development and public/private partnerships.  The conference examined the current applied research approaches in regional economic development.  This year’s conference highlighted innovative collaborations between government and private industry professionals and identified the role they play in developing social infrastructure, healthcare, transportation, higher education, environment, and real estate.  AUBER Greg David

The Alward Institute for Collaborative Science presented Research Partnership Opportunities Using Social Accounting MatricesOn October 12, 2015 Dr. Greg Alward and David Kay in their presentation highlighted some of the Alward Institute’s recent research projects, discussed the current research agenda, and engaged the AUBER community in a discussion of potential collaborative opportunities using a time series of regional social accounting matrices for all US Counties.  Additionally, on Saturday, October 10, 2015 the Alward Institute for Collaborative Science, with sponsorship by IMPLAN Group, LLC conducted a three hour IMPLAN training and workshop.



                                                                                                                                           David Kay and Greg Alward


Newly published Alward Institute & University of Idaho article:  The new issue of The Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy has been posted. It is freely available at:

Volume 45, Number 1 (2015) Regular Peer-reviewed Article: A Method for Improving Economic Contribution Studies for Regional Analysis.  Philip Watson, Stephen Cooke, David Kay, and Greg Alward.


The objective of the International Input-Output Association (IIOA) is the advancement of knowledge in the field of input-output analysis, including improvements in basic data, theoretical insights and modeling, and applications, both traditional and novel, of input-output techniques.  This includes the use of input-output techniques in such areas as energy, environment, international trade, financial flows, as well as price and general equilibrium analysis.  The IIOA fosters the exchange of ideas and communication among regional and specialized input-output associations, cooperating with scholars in other fields and establishing contacts with enterprises, governments and international organizations interested in the use of multi-sectoral, multi-regional and multi-national modeling.  

The School of Economics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the International Input-Output Association (IIOA) held the 23rd International Input-Output Conference in June 23-26, 2015 at the UNAM in Mexico City.  The Alward Institute for Collaborative Science was selected to present two papers at this prestigious conference.  


Greg Alward and David Kay presented an "Advanced IMPLAN Specialized Training" with newly developed area specific technology & methodology to Mississippi State University (MSU) staff on June 3-4, 2015 in Starkville, Mississippi. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        David Kay

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, Dr. Greg Alward represented both the Alward Institute and the IMPLAN group at the MCRSA Executive Committee meeting.  David Kay also attended the Executive Committee meeting as a representative of the Alward Institute.    

The following items were presented by Alward Institute staff at the MCRSA, May 2015:


 PLENARY SESSION; May 28, 2015:

Opportunities for Research Partnerships

Gregory S. Alward, David Kay, Stephen Cooke, Linda Schick; Alward Institute for Collaborative Science.

This session discussed the creation and mission of the Alward Institute for Collaborative Science, presented the current research agenda and review progress to date, and invited the MCRSA community to collaborate with the Alward Institute on joint research projects.

In December 2014 the core Resarch & Development team within the IMPLAN Group, LLC left the company to create an independent organization, known as the Alward Institute for Collaborative Science ( ).  This 501(c)(3) non‐profit corporation builds collaborative partnerships to discover innovative uses for a time series (1990 – present) of regional Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs) for all US counties.  Our current research agenda includes: 

  • Assembling the Tapestry Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) Database and interregional SAMs for all US counties for 1990 – present;
  • Assembling the Tapestry Modeling and Applications Database interregional Leontief‐type I/O multiplier models, marginal Leontief‐type I/O multiplier models, and canonical CGE models for all US counties for 1990 – 2013;
  • Developing a virtual online Research Analytics and Visualization Laboratory for research partners to interact with the Tapestry databases;
  • Extending Tapestry’s SAM framework to include wealth, capital and workforce Knowledge/Skills/Abilities satellite accounts;
  • Developing Structural Path Analysis applications for identifying new markets for agricultural and forestry products;
  • Adding SAMs and Applications for non‐US countries and regions (particularly in Europe and Canada) to Tapestry;
  • Hosting workshops and training in using Tapestry to investigate economic development topics such as identifying regional competitive advantages for export expansion and import substitution strategies, integrating transportation infrastructure planning with endogenous economic growth analysis, monitoring the economic consequences of natural hazard events, and evaluating economic contribution and diversity.

The Alward Institute’s research and education missions are supported entirely by charitable donations, collaborative research grants and contract research studies. We are actively seeking University, government and non‐profit research partners and collaborators to expand our current research and education agendas.



  • Techniques for Identifying Important IO Coefficients and Sectors Michigan Forest
  • Products Sectors: Comparative Gross and Base Value Added and Structural Path Analys

Alward Institute for Collaborative Science:

  • Stephen Cooke (attending) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Estimating the Value of Local Food Markets in the State of Wisconsin

Alward Institute for Collaborative Science:

  • David Kay (attending) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Gregory Alward (attending) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Stephen Cooke (attending) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

University of Idaho:

  • Philip Watson (nonattending)

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Alfonso Morales (nonattending)



Alward Institute's Regional Economist David Kay, was invited by Invest In the USA (IIUSA®) to give a presentation, along with IIUSA Executive Director Peter Joseph, at the IIUSA's 8th Annual EB-5 AdvocacyIIUSA David Peter Conference.  The conference was held in Washington, DC on April 12-14, 2015 and was dedicated to "Bring Industry Together for a Week of Advocacy, Education & Networking."   

 If you would like more information regarding David Kay's presentation, please click on the following link.

To view the interactive EB5 map created by David Kay and the Alward Institute, please click on the following link:


The NABE Economic Policy Conference, organized by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) was held March 8-10, 2015 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.  The Alward Institute was honored to serve as a conference sponsor of the event.  Greg NABE2B

One particulGreg NABEar area of discussion covered at the conference is the challenges currently facing global policy makers and business leaders, as the focus continues to shift from responding to immediate crises to tackling longer-term, structural issues. 

Dr. Greg Alward was invited to serve on a panel and gave a presentation on "Cheap Oil".  Dr. Alward and Linda Schick, of the Alward Institute attended the conference.




As the primary economic development organization for the greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County area, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance focuses on creating, attracting, expanding and retaining high-wage jobs and capital investment in high value targeted industries, developing more vibrant communities, and improving the quality of life for our area’s citizens.  They provide leadership and excellence in delivering economic development services for their clients, prospective clients, investors and partners.  The Four Foundations of their economic development services are:

• Marketing and Promoting Broward County

• Managing Expansion, Relocation and Retention Projects

• Conducting and Providing Market Research & Business Intelligence

• Securing and Enhancing Private/Public Leadership & Investment. 

In an effort to stay cutting edge on their economic research and development, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance contacted the Alward Institute for a comprehensive overview of IMPLAN and a consultation to learn  new and innovative economic analysis techniques to provide the best possible service to the Alliance’s members, and to contribute to the economic success of business as a whole in Broward County. 

The Alward Institute worked on a specific consultation project requirement with the Alliance and followed it up with Dr. Greg Alward and David Kay visiting the beautiful downtown Fort Lauderdale office on March 17-18, 2015.  While on location, they conducted a special class on the latest technologies and training available and designed exclusively for the Great Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s requirements. 


Economic Impacts of the U.S. EB-5 Immigration Program (2010-2012)

Presented by:  David Kay, Regional Economist, Alward Institute for Collaboration

February 18, 2015; Charlotte Economics Club, Charlotte, NC

The EB-5 immigration program is a federal immigration path that allows foreign investors to make targeted investments in the U.S. economy in exchange for an opportunity to apply for permanent residency. In recent years participation rates have increased dramatically, and in 2014 the program hit its annual visa allocation limit for the first time. Because of this growth there has been renewed interest in understanding the economic impacts associated with this program. Using the IMPLAN input-output modeling system, we estimate economic impacts associated with the EB-5 immigration program across all 50 states and 435 congressional districts. From 2010-2012 we estimate that spending associated with the program supported over 76,000 U.S. jobs and contributed over $6 billion to the U.S. economy.


Follow this link for David Kay's presentation:  Slide Presentation: Economic Impacts of U.S. EB-5 Immigration Program