The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 30: Innovation, regional development and relationality

Arnoud Lagendijk


For half a century regions have been presented as engines and cradles of innovation. This chapter reviews the prolific development of academic concepts and logics and policy rationales dealing with this phenomenon. The review is based on a relational perspective, focusing on the role of vehicular ideas and unique regional development trajectories in nurturing (the image of) innovative regions. The core ideas are ‘new industrial spaces’, ‘territorial innovation models’ and ‘smart specialization’. This brings home two key contrasting points. On the one hand, regions are not only engines of innovation, but certain regions, notably those of an ‘outlier’ type, are the cradle of the very mechanisms of place-based innovation that shape such engines. On the other hand, too much emphasis on regions as innovation engines may result in a double trap, namely an economic ‘trap of endogeneity’ and a political ‘territorial trap’. Overcoming these traps still poses a major challenge.

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