Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography

Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography

Edited by Koen Frenken

Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography aims to further advance empirical methodologies in evolutionary economics, with a special emphasis on geography and firm location. It does so by bringing together a select group of leading scholars including economists, geographers and sociologists, all of whom share an interest in explaining the uneven distribution of economic activities in space and the historical processes that have produced these patterns.

Chapter 3: Sophia-Antipolis as a ‘Reverse’ Science Park: From Exogenous to Endogenous Development

Michel Quéré

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, geography, economic geography, innovation and technology, economics of innovation

Extract

Michel Quéré 1. INTRODUCTION The Sophia-Antipolis science park is often presented in the media as a European model of science park development. There are obvious reasons for that, especially because of the historical background of the experiment. The park started from scratch in the 1970s and reached an impressive stage of accumulation whereby more than 25 000 jobs are now in existence on site. We shall argue that the park constituted a unique experiment due to the fact it has to be considered as a ‘reverse’ science park as the university and research institutions joined the park only at a later stage. A related feature of the park holds that for a long time its development has drawn on exogenous sources. Only recently have some developments become truly endogenous, rendering the success of the park more complicated to assess. Section 2 will discuss the historical patterns characterising the SophiaAntipolis project. From these background conditions, Section 3 explores a more specific issue, which is the capability of that project to transform itself into a real science park project, encouraging and benefiting from local entrepreneurial initiatives. Section 4 deals with a general discussion about that transformation, with a specific insistence on governance issues and more in particular with a discussion about how innovation opportunities progressively emerge locally. Section 5 focuses on innovative behaviours arising from local interactive learning in information and communication technology (ICT) activities, in accordance with either the type of firms involved in these processes or...

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