Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Evolving Economies
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Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Evolving Economies

The Role of Law

Edited by Megan M. Carpenter

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Evolving Economies examines the role of law in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in communities whose economies are in transition. It contains a collection of works from different perspectives and tackles tough questions regarding policy and practice, including how support for entrepreneurship can be translated into policy. Additionally, this collection addresses more concrete questions of practical efficacy, including measures of how successful or unsuccessful legal efforts to incentivize entrepreneurship may be, through intellectual property law and otherwise, and what might define success to begin with.
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Chapter 4: Transforming Professional Services to Build Regional Innovation Ecosystems

Sean M. O’Connor


Sean M. O’Connor INTRODUCTION As policymakers seek the right policies to help industrial, or even preindustrial, regional economies evolve into knowledge-based ones, they increasingly focus on concepts of “innovation ecosystems,” or “clusters.”1 Originating in its current form largely from Michael Porter’s seminal The Competitive Advantage of Nations,2 a growing literature seeks to unpack and suggest ways to operationalize these concepts. Porter has succinctly defined his notion of a cluster as a “geographic concentration[] of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions (e.g., universities, standards agencies, trade associations) in a particular field that compete but also cooperate.”3 The key components of a cluster or innovation ecosystem4 have more recently been summarized by a leading policymaker as: “A talent pool that connects across disciplines; [a]n ‘innovation infrastructure’ with physical facilities; [a] skilled workforce; [a]ccess to capital; and [a] support system that can shepherd promising innovations through the so-called ‘valley of death.’ ”5 While the expanding literature has begun exploring the human capital components of innovation ecosystems, little 1 See, e.g., U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Remarks at Innovation Clusters Conference, the Brookings Institution (Sept. 23, 2010) (Prepared remarks of Sec’y of Commerce, Gary Locke). 2 Michael Porter, The Competitive Advantage of Nations (New York, NY, U.S.A.: Free Press, 1990) 3 Michael Porter, Location, Competition, And Economic Development: Local Clusters In A Global Economy, 14 Econ. Dev. Q. 15 (2000). 4 This Chapter adopts the term “innovation ecosystem” rather than “cluster.” 5 Locke,...

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