Platforms of Innovation

Platforms of Innovation

Dynamics of New Industrial Knowledge Flows

Edited by Philip Cooke, Carla De Laurentis, Stewart MacNeill and Chris Collinge

This ground-breaking book offers a coherent theoretical analysis of contemporary industrial knowledge flow dynamics. Furthermore, it advances wide-ranging and varied empirical findings from international comparative research which demonstrate that knowledge cross-pollination, often from industrially unrelated business sectors, is now commonplace in the economics of innovation. This, the authors argue, represents the rise of an externalized ‘matrix’ of knowledge flow dynamics among firms and industries. The book also examines related economic governance research that reveals the catalytic role that leading innovation policy agencies play in animating knowledge flow dynamics, particularly at the regional level. The chapters address various sectors including food and drink, biotechnology, ICT, new media, the automotive industry and tourism.

Chapter 12: The Matrix: Evolving Policies for Platform Knowledge Flows

Philip Cooke and Carla De Laurentis

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, industrial economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Philip Cooke and Carla De Laurentis INTRODUCTION 12.1 Today, advanced societies become more and more based upon ‘knowledge economies’ as routine manufacturing and many lower-order services migrate to Asia and other emerging markets. Much of this discussion is based in consensus about social and economic ‘megatrends’. The discussion stresses how important it is that firms engage with these realities. But it is equally important to recognize that enterprise support agencies, many of which are regional or, if not, specialized in innovation, need to overhaul or introduce the knowledge absorbing, analysing and adapting capabilities and functions that enable rapid anticipation and response to megatrend shifts as they affect their jurisdictions. One of the important policy and practice innovations of the 1990s – which we argue below was associated with the accelerated demise of the Industrial Age in advanced economies – concerned clusters. These fundamentally regional phenomena portended the rise of networked forms of knowledge distribution and flow, clusters forming nodes in such global networks. Accordingly, new challenges impact upon cluster firms and cluster governance. Much of the following explores these two spotlit phenomena, set within a distributed knowledge flows model of regional dynamics. Hence, in line with the aspirations of the research being reported on, most of the analysis focuses on the regional level, involving global knowledge flow dynamics among firms, industries and regions per se. However, the cluster and economic governance models outlined and explored are also relevant to specialist national agencies (for example TEKES in Finland, Innovation Norway or VINNOVA in...

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