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Innovation, Global Change and Territorial Resilience

Innovation, Global Change and Territorial Resilience

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Philip Cooke, Mario Davide Parrilli and José Luis Curbelo

Localized creativity, small high-tech entrepreneurship, related innovation platforms, social capital embedded in dynamically open territorial communities and context-specific though continuously upgrading policy platforms are all means to face new challenges and to promote increased absorptive capacity within local and national territories. The contributors illustrate that these capabilities are much needed in the current globalized economy as a path towards sustainability and for creating new opportunities for their inhabitants. They analyse the challenges and development prospects of local/regional production systems internally, across territories, and in terms of their potential and territorial connectivity which can help exploit opportunities for proactive policy actions. This is increasingly relevant in the current climate, in which the balanced allocation of resources and opportunities, particularly for SMEs, cannot be expected to be the automatic result of the working of the market.

Chapter 2: Resilience, Innovative ‘White Spaces’ and Cluster-Platforms as a Response to Globalisation Shocks

Philip Cooke and Arne Eriksson

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, industrial economics, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


2. Resilience, innovative ‘white spaces’ and cluster platforms as a response to globalisation shocks Philip Cooke and Arne Eriksson INTRODUCTION The newest and most fruitful insights into our understanding of innovation processes come where understanding is informed by one of four complementary theoretical perspectives. These are, respectively: the multi-level perspective on co-evolution (MLP); the resilience or panarchy perspective; complexity theory; and evolutionary economic geography (EEG). In this chapter these four complementary theoretical frameworks will be compared and contrasted. Then key elements are selected in ways that underline their value to a broadly evolutionary analysis of contemporary regional innovation processes. This is a prelude to exploring a theory of innovation that integrates the ideas of regional ‘relatedness’ of industry (Frenken et al., 2007), ‘path interdependence’ of socio-technical systems (Martin and Sunley, 2010; Geels, 2007), ‘pre-adaptation’ and the ‘adjacent possible’ as innovator moves that explain both incremental and radical innovation (Kauffman, 2008). The chapter then proceeds with accounts of regional innovation intermediation by innovation agencies in central Europe contrasted with a Scandinavian exemplar where ‘pre-adaptation’ or reincarnation of an innovation from one industry or cluster into a wholly different one (this is also known in evolutionary biology as ‘exaptation’ (Gould and Vrba, 2002) is found in the first two cases but search practices for the ‘adjacent possible’ are also found in the Scandinavian case. There then follows a lengthy, longitudinal analysis of a further Scandinavian case from the Skåne region in Sweden in which the quest for the ‘adjacent possible’ is...

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