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Helen Lawton Smith

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Helen Lawton Smith

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Helen Lawton Smith

The entrepreneurship and economic development agenda is one that is both academic and political. Places grow because they generate new firms. Underpinning the idea of entrepreneurship-led growth is the supposition that entrepreneurship can be stimulated at the regional level by policy intervention. A dilemma for policy makers, however, is the persistence of entrepreneurial regions independently of politics. To address this problem, the European Union has introduced the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) project. The EER ‘is a project that identifies and rewards EU regions which show an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy, irrespective of their size, wealth and competences. The regions with the most credible, forward-thinking and promising vision plan are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region” (EER) for a specific year.’ However, in the face of more firms, more jobs, wealth creation and lowering unemployment, there is still a lack of clear evidence of the impact of enterprise policies. The chapter considers how regions become entrepreneurial and which organizations are dominant in shaping visions and coordinating entrepreneurial activity. The high-tech entrepreneurial regions of Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire in the UK are used to illustrate, even in apparently similar regions, the distinctive differences in how the entrepreneurial region concept is developed and enacted at the local level.

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Helen Lawton Smith and Saverio Romeo

The chapter examines the relationship between formal networks, such as business and occupationally based professional networks, and place in determining network patterns and types in regional economic development. It distinguishes between ‘network-rich’ and ‘network-poor’ regions. It considers why and how formal networks operate as a service and a resource for participants and as components of regional business infrastructures. Formal networks of the Oxfordshire to Cambridge Arc in the UK are used to illustrate these points.

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Helen Lawton Smith, Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen and Laurel Edmunds

While investments in certain places yield jobs, growth and prosperity similar investments in others locations fail to produce the desired effects (Feldman, 2014). As an outcome of governmental policies to foster innovation in companies in the healthcare sector, both research and innovation are clustered in particular places (Cooke 2013) as it is often research universities that are central players in research and research-led innovation that have societal value in the healthcare sector, funded both by public funds as well as by the private sector (Arbo and Benneworth 2007, Bagchi-Sen and Lawton Smith 2010). Our case study draws on data from three key bioscience regions along with an emerging region. The chapter focuses specifically on the extent of the role of Oxford University in driving the healthcare cluster development over time while considering the role of other organisations (local and national) and local context specific factors.