It's too soon to know the full effects of Indiana's Regional Cities Initiative, but an initial study released Monday by Ball State University researchers show the investment is making a measurable, positive difference.

Eric Doden, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s CEO, said the study shows “the progress and momentum” in the three regions chosen to receive $122 million in grants going toward $1.2 billion in total investment.

“We are all creating the conditions to attract talent and capital to build our community into a nationally recognized economy,” he said in a statement.

Whether researchers at Ball State's Center for Business & Economic Research have enough data to draw reliable conclusions are a matter of opinion, however.

Two skeptics questioned assumptions made in the study and whether anything but a glowing report was possible, considering who paid for the work.

Ball State was commissioned by the Metro Chamber Alliance to review the state's $122 million investment in 64 projects in three regions of the state: northeast, north central and southwest.

The Metro Chamber Alliance comprises the chambers of commerce of Indiana's largest cities and various regions, including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend and southern Indiana.
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