The Dynamic Transformation of the Finnish Innovation System
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Gerd Schienstock
Chapter 8: The emergence of a regional innovation network: BioTurku in Turku, Finland
Henrik Bruun* 8.1 INTRODUCTION** Recent changes in the foundations of the international economic system have exposed regions to new challenges. Trends such as the liberalization and globalization of markets, technological development, the growth of the high technology sector and new ways to organize production and innovation have led to substantial changes in the conditions for economic growth in states and regions (Cooke and Morgan  2000). Capital, technology, firms and people are less and less restricted to traditional political or administrative boundaries, but move in what Castells (2000) calls a space of flows. States and regions need to attract those flows in order to sustain economic development. Since growth has been unevenly distributed across economic sectors, many regions have had to restructure their economies during the past ten or twenty years. The goal has generally been to exploit new growth areas, many of which involve the production and utilization of knowledge-intensive technologies. This chapter is a study of the emergence of a regional innovation network in Turku – a Finnish city undergoing the kind of transformation described above. Turku, just like many other cities that want to increase their competitiveness in the globalizing economy, has faced the challenge of increasing the innovative capacity of its local industry. A basic insight of modern innovation research has been that such capacity cannot be built by focusing on individual companies only. In this view, the source of competitiveness is equally much in the environment of the company as in the company itself (Freeman 1994;...
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