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Edward Malecki

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Edward J. Malecki

For many business leaders and policymakers, innovation and knowledge typify the characteristics of a knowledge economy and represent areas in which places compete. Rankings and comparisons among national and regional economies are now common. This chapter reviews the research on competitiveness, and demonstrates that knowledge, innovation and innovative capability are the core of economic competitiveness. The global innovation networks that enable creativity and innovation are formed in – and are attracted to – some places and not others. Although there are multiple dimensions of competitiveness, innovation is the fundamental dimension, comprised of local, global and virtual networks and systems of innovation.

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Edward J. Malecki and Ben Spigel

We follow Schumpeter in attributing to entrepreneurs the spark to bring new combinations to market by combining knowledge, perceived opportunity, and other resources to form new firms. A link between innovation and entrepreneurship was first seen in new firms exploiting new technologies in high-technology regions. This context set the tone for research, which we explore in this chapter. We identify four topics: entrepreneurship in high-tech contexts, spinoffs from university research, the local/regional ecosystem or innovation system, and flows of knowledge within social and professional networks. Underlying these four attributes of high-tech innovation are cultural outlooks and orientations. Without an understanding of how culture influences entrepreneurial and innovative activities, it is difficult to study their relationship with the cultural contexts in which they take place. Building on a nexus-based view of innovation and entrepreneurship, we argue that culture is best understood as a process through which actors interpret the world around them and which can either encourage or discourage entrepreneurial and innovative activity.