The Institute for Open Economic Networks, which is seeking to create a new paradigm for economic development, will use collaboration tools from Near-Time as part of its Weblog offering.

Open Economic Networks, which also is called I-Open, operates EdProWeblog that encourages economic developers to work together on business, education, work-force development and other issues.

Near-Time’s software also will be part of an economic development project in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana that I-Open is helping to coordinate. Near-Time offers tools for Web blogs, online collaborations, podcasts and other features.

“Enabling online collaboration in the civic space is difficult because it’s heterogeneous,” said Ed Morrison, founding partner of Cleveland-based I-Open. “We chose Near-Time because they are a company with a solid understanding of how different collaboration tools integrate. In regional economic development, the Near-Time platform changes the game, delivering simple yet powerful tools that accelerate collaboration across organizational and political boundaries. The platform’s flexibility and customization work well in everything from simple collaborations to complex publishing.”