Chapter 15: Clusters of Innovation: final thoughts
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The process of innovation and how it applies to modern regional economic development is a major driver of efforts around the world to improve the economic vitality and competitiveness of communities, regions and nations. It is broadly touted that the right combination of factors and policies can unleash the inherent entrepreneurial capacity of society, energize individual initiative and create individual and collective benefit. This volume identifies guiding principles (i.e. the Cluster of Innovation [COI] Framework presented in Chapter 1) and examples of best practice (the cases presented in Chapters 2 through 14) from diverse settings from around the world. The cases are presented by active participants in each of the settings, including leading principals in shaping or carrying out the initiatives described. This intimacy with the subject matter gives our authors the ability to discern subtle qualitative attributes of their context. Their observations contain insights that are not available from an analysis of cold data alone. Our innovation tour spans 12 countries and 13 distinct economic regions. Within each region we focused on a specific aspect of the economy that was either the target of innovation initiatives or emergent behavior that may be the intended or unintended consequence of government action. The regions themselves are a very eclectic selection. Some are highly evolved mature innovation clusters with multiple industry foci. Some are specialized in a single industry and sometimes in a single aspect of that industry (e.g. manufacturing or early stage product and business model design).

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Edited by Jerome S. Engel
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