Markets, Clusters and Innovation
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Chapter 9: Comparing the Cases and Lessons for Knowledge-based Sector Policy
INTRODUCTION Earlier chapters in the book have comprehensively highlighted how knowledge cannot be meaningfully analysed in isolation, hence a contextualized approach recognizing the characteristics of the regional knowledge ecosystem is necessary. A regional knowledge and innovation system has been deﬁned as a dynamic and evolving constellation of actors shaped by the knowledge embedded in organizational systems and embodied in associated technological systems (Choo and Bontis, 2002). It has been argued that ﬁrms and research centres of expertise/excellence play a dual role within a region, both creating (or co-creating) knowledge and absorbing knowledge from outside the region. Optimizing the potential contribution to regional development of a region’s knowledge stock, however, will require complementarity between the regional knowledge base and the requirements of regional ﬁrms (for example, Gunasekara, 2006). For instance, the evidence suggests that, in general terms, spillovers and productivity beneﬁts are probably greatest from publicly funded basic research which contributes to the related public knowledge stock (for example, Guellec and van Pottelsberghe, 2004). Yet, research by Rodriguez-Pose (1999), Fernandez et al. (1996) and Jensen and Tragardh (2004) rather supports the idea that in an economy dominated by small and medium-sized ﬁrms with an intermediate technological and industrial base the returns are also greater from more applied research which is more easily absorbed by local ﬁrms (for example, Oughton et al., 2002). To recall, we have also argued that knowledge-intensive industries make use of diﬀerent types of knowledge links, distinguishable in market links, networks, spillovers and milieux; these...
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