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Thierry Burger-Helmchen and Caroline Hussler

This chapter provides a comprehensive understanding of the reverse innovation phenomenon, its underlying logics, associated challenges and potential future. We start tackling the peculiarity and scope of reverse innovation, by presenting existing yet confusing literature on the topic. We then refine the concept, thanks to an original analytical grid: if reverse innovation always incorporates a geographical diffusion process, it often also encompasses an evolution in the strategic target of innovation. Two versions of reverse innovation are thus pinpointed, and their respective managerial challenges discussed. In a concluding part, we broaden the perspective and put reverse innovation into the very context of global innovation management (and its evolution), in order to question reverse innovation potential persistency through time.

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Jean-Alain Héraud

The aim of this chapter is to focus on the progressive aspects of the relationship between science and innovation. One of the main aims in this chapter is to position the fields of science and innovation in relationship with the actors of both scenes. Are there individuals, organizations and institutions specialized in the respective fields, with a division of labor leading to professional monopolies? Must we introduce other elements in the creative ecosystems (communities, intermediaries, policy settings, etc.)? One striking evolution in the long run is the professionalization of research, along with the increasing size of equipment in certain sectors. The logical conclusion could be that science is now extremely specialized and characterized by an extensive division of labor. The paradox is that, in parallel, we observe a growing number and variety of partners contributing to applied knowledge creation in the model of open innovation, and large interdisciplinary teams that are necessary to achieve breakthroughs in basic science. Scientist are trained and selected like high-level athletes, exchanged on academic markets, and evaluated according to criteria of “excellence” in the respective discipline, but they can no more be considered as having the monopoly of the discovery. We observe a democratization of the ideas as Edmund Phelps says.

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Johannes Glückler

This chapter aims to overcome the relative silence in the dialogue between technology-oriented innovation studies and service innovation research. Rather than viewing services as just an additional factor of innovation activities, it is argued that its inclusion requires a revised understanding of the concept of innovation itself. This chapter reviews the perspectives of assimilation, differentiation and integration in the interdisciplinary evolution of research on service innovation. It is argued that an integrative approach is best suited to capture the contemporary servitization in manufacturing and the increasing division of knowledge-based labor, leading to convergence between production and services both within and between firms. It is argued that this convergence yields opportunities for regional economies to leverage their innovativeness and competitiveness by both specializing in services and integrating services into the production system.

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Michel Ferrary and Mark Granovetter

The failure of several policy-makers around the world to reproduce the Silicon Valley cluster reveals the misunderstanding of the innovative dynamic in Silicon Valley. This study uses complex network theory to analyse the complex innovative capability of Silicon Valley and to understand the heterogeneity of agents and the multiplexity of ties that support the creation and development of high-tech start-ups. Silicon Valley is a complex network, whose nodes are companies and whose links represent the various economic and financial ties connecting them. In a systemic perspective, the presence of a specific agent in a network induces specific interactions with other agents that could not take place if this agent were not there. Thus, the diversity of agents influences the dynamics of the system. The presence of venture capital firms in an innovative cluster opens potential specific interactions with other agents in the network (universities, large companies, laboratories) that determine a particular dynamic of innovation. What is distinctive about Silicon Valley is its complete and robust complex system of innovation supported by social networks of interdependent economic agents in which the VC firms have a specific function. Our perspective examines five different contributions of VC firms to Silicon Valley: financing, selection, collective learning, embedding and signalling.

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Harald Bathelt

This chapter presents evidence that trade fairs play a substantive role in industrial innovation and knowledge generation processes. First, based on interviews conducted at trade fairs, it is illustrated that most exhibitors systematically use these events to present innovations to visitors and acquire information about new products and technologies. Second, findings from an industry survey confirm that trade fairs are consistently ranked among the important information sources for product and process innovation. While not the only or most important influences, these events provide a unique and crucial platform to present innovations, to acquire information about changes in user needs, to collect information about changes in the market, technology and policy environment, to gather information about competitor innovations, and to search for and find problem solutions.

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Sebastian Henn and Harald Bathelt

This chapter discusses how transnational entrepreneurs contribute to the global transfer of knowledge and initiate regional development processes. Transnational entrepreneurs are conceptualized as one type of diaspora entrepreneur who, unlike other types of entrepreneurs, set up highly competitive firms that rely in their day-to-day business on dense linkages between two or more locations. Being part of families or closed ethnic communities, these entrepreneurs are capable of developing trust-based networks that allow for fast and low-cost knowledge exchanges and knowledge generation processes at a worldwide scale. This generates important competitive advantages compared to firms that do not have such linkages. By presenting case studies of self-employed migrants in high-technology industries (so-called New Argonauts) and in the diamond sector, this chapter demonstrates that transnational entrepreneurs are an important phenomenon in different countries and industries with varying knowledge intensities, and can be analyzed at different scales.

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Richard Shearmur

Innovation is assumed by many analysts to be intimately connected with cities and with clusters of economic activity. The geography of innovation – as an area of study – does not seriously examine innovation by isolated firms or in remote areas, which it considers atypical. In this chapter I argue that the evidence upon which this assumption is based is biased towards identifying innovation in clusters and urban areas, and that innovation theory contributes to this bias. I outline a theory that accounts for innovation both in urban and in remote areas, and which also accounts for the decline of many remote regions. This theory rests upon distinguishing initial firm-level innovation (that occurs similarly in urban and remote areas, as an increasing body of evidence shows) from subsequent growth and innovation diffusion (that often requires the market access and resources that cities provide). Evidence is presented that corroborates certain aspects of this theory. The chapter’s central argument is that once urban bias is overcome the geography of innovation can abandon some of its inhibiting assumptions and move in new directions.

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Pierre Desrochers, Samuli Leppälä and Joanna Szurmak

The relationship between innovation and urban diversity has drawn much interest in the geography of innovation literature. While the concept of “Jacobs spillovers” suggests a positive relationship, its underlying processes have yet to be explained satisfactorily. This chapter builds on our previous theoretical and case study work and adds new insights from the creativity literature, which is less known among urban economic development analysts. The aim is to provide a more complete account of how human creativity is both stimulated and facilitated by a diverse urban environment.

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Cyrielle Vellera, Eric Vernette and Susumu Ogawa

In the current economic landscape, users have been shown to be a highly promising and fertile external source of novel innovations. First, this chapter focuses on the importance and magnitude of the open innovation paradigm and collaborative practices. Second, this chapter underlines, through a body of work and on a wide variety of industries, the phenomenon of user innovation and stresses a theoretical and empirical development of the concept. Third, this chapter paints a striking picture of the trend of co-creation with users and shows that co-creation with users has grown in recent years with the deployment of online communities, interactive platforms for creation, self-service toolkits and companies specialized in crowdsourcing. Finally, this chapter provides details on two favored and atypical co-creation targets with a high potential for innovation – lead users and emergent nature consumers – and discusses the benefits and limits of co-creation and co-innovation practices with users.

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Andrés Hatum

Chapter 6 is a summary of the book. It also provides an understanding of the challenges ahead for creative firms such as the rise of complex organizations and the art of being an authentic leader.