New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Patarapong Intarakumnerd and Jan Vang
Chapter 11: Innovating for Global Competition: Singapore’s Pathway to High-Tech Development
Henry Wai-chung Yeung INTRODUCTION The territorialization of ﬁrm-speciﬁc competitive advantages has been featured strongly in recent research in urban and regional development studies. Localized clusters become very signiﬁcant spatial formations for understanding processes of economic development and technological innovation (Storper, 1997; Porter, 1998a; 1998b; Scott, 1998; Fujita et al., 1999; Scott and Storper, 2003). Clusters are deﬁned as ‘geographic concentrations of interconnected ﬁrms, specialised suppliers, service providers, ﬁrms in related industries, and associated institutions in particular ﬁelds that compete but also cooperate’ (Porter, 1998a: 197). The emergence of clusters is not a recent phenomenon and has been recognized and explored in a wide range of literature (Hirschman, 1958; Amin and Thrift, 1994; Ellison and Glaeser, 1999; Schmitz and Nadvi, 1999; Becattini et al., 2003; Schmitz, 2004; see a recent critique in Martin and Sunley, 2003). The concept is also well explored in the geographic literature on spatial agglomerations (Malmberg and Maskell, 1997; 2002; Maskell and Malmberg, 1999). This geographic literature argues that cluster development is signiﬁcantly embedded in networks of relational assets and geographical proximity particularly on local and regional scales. Such social processes as norms and conventions, collective learning, and localized capabilities help to deﬁne these speciﬁc interdependencies and subsequent territorial tendencies. When tapped by ﬁrms in speciﬁc localities, these interdependencies provide a signiﬁcant source of location-based advantages through both competition and cooperation. Other researchers have developed further the concept of innovation and learning systems on regional and national scales (Lundvall,...
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