Ask any economic development officer in the region "” be it at a nonprofit economic agency, at the chambers of commerce, or even at a corporate level "” and you're bound to hear a different answer to this question: What sectors of industry will experience the most growth in Greater Cincinnati in the next five to 10 years?

We asked a few different voices in the community to contribute to a conversation regarding this very topic. Not that any of the following claim to have a crystal ball or magic powers of prediction, but these are well-informed sources worth hearing.

Our panel of experts:

Nicholas J. Vehr, vice president for economic development at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce

Joseph A. Hinson, president of the West Chester Chamber Alliance

David Smith, manager of economic development for Cinergy

Cincy Business: Let's jump ahead a few years. What will be the heavy-growth industry sectors in Greater Cincinnati in, say, 2010?

VEHR: A lot of it depends on the type of business, and where the customers and suppliers are. Clearly the aerospace, automotive, and high-technology areas such as bioscience are very important right now, and will continue to be in the future. ... High-tech, high-wage, high-skilled jobs, they require a very dedicated work force. We have that highly educated work force. We're a region with about 80,000 college students, and 200,000 college students within a 350-mile radius. Our location is usually a very strong motivator for a corporate relocation. All the quality-of-life stuff "” the innate beauty of this region with its rolling hills and river, the exceptional arts and cultural heritage here "” translates into a CEO knowing his employees are going to have a good life in this community.

SMITH: Technology, design, and [sectors] that involve thought processes. And U.C. cell research. ... Cincinnati has real strong areas in advanced logistics and the transportation technology behind the movement of goods.

HINSON: The next five years of development will be unlike any we have seen in Southwest Ohio. Butler County has strung a fiber-optic network across the county. In the future, high-tech business will take off. [And] commercial real estate is very much the area of interest. What I see as growth areas are in Northern Kentucky and Warren and Butler counties, because it's new and exciting.

CB: What's driving the economic engine of Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana?

VEHR: The asset we have in the airport as a Delta hub, which makes us an attractive location for all sorts of divisional headquarters. We're a great place for that, and that spreads across many different industry segments. ... I think there's a Midwestern work ethic that is very important, as productivity and efficiency are driving corporate culture as we come out of a recession.

HINSON: I think the city of Cincinnati and the city of Dayton are growing together all the time. In the future, the two markets will infuse energy into the hubs, the connectors such as West Chester, between the two markets.