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Edited by Philip Cooke, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma, Ron Martin, Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling
Lisa De Propris and Olivier Crevoisier INTRODUCTION The current debate on regional development and innovation dynamics often refers to the metaphor of the ‘anchor’ to describe a tension or a balance between the local and the global forces shaping economic activities. In this chapter, a critical review of the current literature will show how this term is used in different ways depending on the correspondence and interplay between the local and global scales. One can distinguish a first meaning in which anchoring consists of the historical position of a production system within a region due to a process of (mainly local) accumulation of knowledge and capital (for a recent review, see Becattini et al., 2009). A second idea emerged when the necessity to understand the location dynamics of new industries and what factors were determining industries’ location choices became a prime concern for regional growth (Feldman, 2003). In this case, the focus shifted from the endogenous process of cumulated firm capacity to the drivers and players able to attract a critical mass of entrepreneurial vibrancy to a particular place and to retain it. Finally, we would argue that with today’s (alleged) hypermobility of capital, knowledge and people, anchoring is becoming more related to the permanent interplay of economic activities across space, namely within and between places, than to any local accumulation. SYSTEMIC INNOVATION, INDUSTRIAL AND REGIONAL TRAJECTORIES The concept of ‘regional anchors’ was first coined by Feldman (2003) as she wanted to understand how emerging industries, like biotechnologies, could be...
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