The Genesis of Innovation

The Genesis of Innovation

Systemic Linkages Between Knowledge and the Market

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Blandine Laperche, Dimitri Uzunidis and G. N. von Tunzelmann

The genesis and diffusion of innovation depends upon the density of the cognitive and market relationships among individuals, organisations and institutions at both the micro- and macro-economic level. By addressing the nature of these relationships, which include cooperation, competition and power, this book presents an important and progressive enquiry into the economic and social origins of innovation.

Chapter 8: The Logic of the Innovative Milieu

Dimitri Uzunidis

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Dimitri Uzunidis Technological innovation is the safest way to restore, transform and enlarge markets. The extension of companies as well as the increasing globalization of markets reveal the importance of local pools of productive resources. The geographical proximity between science, technology, industry and finance contributes to the emergence of innovations. Interactions are being organized through the interplay between private actors and political institutions. Today, economists consider the ‘local economy’ as a geographical and economic platform for the organization of production and, as a consequence, as an opportunity to create new activities, goods and services, new employment and sources of income. For almost four decades, the innovative approach based on proximity and, in particular, on the concept of the ‘innovative milieu’ has demonstrated its pertinence as a form of modelling of decentralized economic growth, but also as a source of enrichment for firms’ technological competencies. These economists are not part of a strictly linear approach to innovation (that would correspond to the view that an increase in inputs – in this case R&D expenditures – leads to an increase in outputs – namely innovations), although they identify the need to increase R&D expenditures in order to enlarge the knowledge base. They are rather part of an interactive vision that stresses the importance of networks of private and public actors at a specific level – the region – considered as pertinent for the implementation of innovation policies in the specialized literature dealing with economic geography. This literature includes the works of Aydalot, Becattini, Courlet...

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