New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Philip Cooke, Mario Davide Parrilli and José Luis Curbelo
Chapter 5: Innovative Regions: Strategic Spaces for Development
Antonio Vázquez Barquero INTRODUCTION 1. Heightened competition in the markets – the result of increasing integration of the international economic system – is fueling major economic and industrial transformations. Companies and organizations respond to the challenges of globalization with strategies that encourage the forces of development in the more dynamic and creative cities and regions through the adoption and dissemination of innovations throughout economies and societies. Since mid-2008 the current economic and financial crisis has been affecting both advanced and emerging economies and is shifting the international division of labor and the system of international relations. For innovative regions – which, following the crisis of the 1970s, had driven the application of knowledge and innovations in the production system – the crisis has become an opportunity to expand the process of restructuring the production system, promote changes in the organization of production, and, consequently, renew the regional model. The purpose of this chapter is to show how company and regional strategies are driving the evolution and transformation of the production system in recent decades. In their quest to become more competitive in the markets, companies adopt new technologies, introduce new forms of organization and make decisions about the most efficient localization for their plants. These strategic decisions are made in an institutional environment that is increasingly prone to adopting new forms of governance at the state, economic and social levels. Companies and organizations implement their investment and location decisions in the more dynamic and innovative regions, thereby making them strategic locations in processes...
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