Markets, Clusters and Innovation
New Horizons in Regional Science series
The origins of this book lay in a somewhat contorted attempt, that was eventually successful, to access research funding to conduct a comparative research project entitled Collective Learning in the Knowledge Economy: Milieu or Market? The aim was to examine advanced technology industry, including that located in clusters, in diﬀerent countries with liberal and coordinated regulatory regimes, to see if ﬁrms in a proximate milieu such as a cluster performed better or worse than similar ﬁrms not located in clusters. A ﬁrst eﬀort, including German and Norwegian partners as well as the Austrian and UK ones, was in 2001 sent to the European Science Foundation collaborative research scheme, in which at least three needed to succeed with their own national research councils for the research to proceed. Only the Austrian proposal succeeded as the other three were not supported, hence the successful proposal also ‘failed’. But in coordinated market Austria the applicants were encouraged to submit a further proposal, whereas in liberal market UK that was barred. This was discovered when an improved version, helped by taking account of assessor comments, was submitted only to be refused entry because revised proposals were disallowed. Clearly no opportunities for making learning gains in the UK research funding arena then. Determined to keep trying with what peer-reviewers had thought a worthy project and spurred on by the success of the Austrian proposal to acquire national research foundation funding, the further improved proposal was sent to a UK private research foundation where...