Creating Competitiveness

Creating Competitiveness

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth

Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok

Although competitiveness is typically associated with firms, they are not the only organizational body whose performance is dependent upon competitiveness. This poignant insightful book focuses on how the varied economic performance of cities and regions, both within nations as well as across nations, during the era of the ‘Great Recession’ also highlights the need for competitiveness.

Chapter 7: Driving regional growth: the growing role of policies to promote clusters

Charles W. Wessner and Sujai Shivakumar

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational innovation


Ever since Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128 gained global attention as fountains of dynamic new high-technology companies, state and local governments across the United States have tried to create innovation clusters of their own (Katz et al., 2010). These innovation clusters are regional concentrations of large and small companies that develop creative products and services, along with specialized suppliers, service providers, universities, and associated institutions. To this end, state and local governments have sought to attract a critical mass of skills and talent. Seeking to promote a high level of interaction among entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators, they have invested in science parks, business incubators to nurture start-ups, and an array of research collaborations between universities and private industry (Muro and Katz, 2010). The federal government has traditionally played an important though largely supportive role in the development of regional innovation clusters. Federally funded research and military procurement have been instrumental in the emergence of clusters that have formed around major research universities. Through legislation, such as the Bayh–Dole Act of 1980, Congress has encouraged universities and national laboratories to commercialize federally funded research.

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