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Iréne Bernhard and Elin Wihlborg

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Iréne Bernhard, Urban Gråsjö and Charlie Karlsson

Regions are increasingly considered to be the areas driving economic development in the global economy. More and more researchers emphasize the link between, on the one hand, re_gional diversity and, on the other, regional knowledge, innovation and entrepreneur_ship. Research demonstrates that to increase the understanding of the multi_faceted dynamic relationships between diversity, innovation and clusters, there is a strong need to further focus on and investigate the spatial perspectives of these rela_tionships. Such investigations include identification and empirical testing of the mechanisms that may explain possible causal relationships. This is necessary from a scientific point of view, but also from the need to provide policy makers with a more comprehensive decision-making basis, since the spatial perspectives are crucial in understanding what drives economic development. By discussing these factors in this introductory chapter, we create a background and a foundation for the rest of the chapters in this edited volume.

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Diversity, Innovation and Clusters

Spatial Perspectives

Edited by Iréne Bernhard, Urban Gråsjö and Charlie Karlsson

Increased emphasis on the links between regional diversity and regional knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship highlights the need for a focus on the spatial aspects of these multifaceted, dynamic relationships in order to improve our understanding. By means of a conceptual approach, this timely book illustrates the links between innovation and economic development through the role of space. This thought-provoking book addresses the questions regarding diversity, innovation and clusters that require further investigation and analysis.
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Urban Gråsjö, Charlie Karlsson and Iréne Bernhard

Innovations are generated by two types of economic agents: incumbent firms and entrepreneurs. This chapter discusses two specific but interrelated aspects of innovation by these two types of economic actors, namely the role of geography, that is, the location of economic agents, and of open innovation. A successful innovation process is usually an open process, where valuable ideas, knowledge and resources can come from both inside and outside the economic agent. This leads to two fundamental questions: how does openness influence the ability of incumbents and potential entrepreneurs to innovate and to appropriate the benefits of innovation? And how is this ability influenced by the location of incumbents and potential entrepreneurs? By discussing these factors in this introductory chapter, we create a background and a foundation for the rest of the chapters in this edited volume.

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Edited by Urban Gråsjö, Charlie Karlsson and Iréne Bernhard

Developed countries must be incredibly innovative to secure incomes and welfare so that they may successfully compete against international rivals. This book focuses on two specific but interrelated aspects of innovation by incumbent firms and entrepreneurs, the role of geography and of open innovation.
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Iréne Bernhard, Urban Gråsjö and Charlie Karlsson

It is well-known that development is uneven across regions. The current academic and political consensus calls for policy interventions targeted towards a more balanced, inclusive and regionally cohesive growth. Yet, despite decades of sizeable policy efforts, there is no clear evidence of economic and social convergence across regions within countries. Entrepreneurship and innovation are proven to be strong drivers of regional economic development, and therefore they offer a source of potential solutions to the challenges imposed by an adverse international context. However, both entrepreneurial and innovative activity are themselves highly unevenly distributed in space, which might in itself be a main cause of the persistent regional inequalities in both developed and developing countries. A deeper understanding of the drivers and the implications of sub-national disparities in entrepreneurship and innovation is therefore a priority for implementing policies aimed at unlocking the potential of all regions in order to maximize their contribution to national growth and prosperity. In this introductory chapter, we create a background and a foundation for the rest of the chapters in this edited volume.

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Unlocking Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Potential for Increasing Capacities

Edited by Iréne Bernhard, Urban Gråsjö and Charlie Karlsson

Illuminating and timely, this book explores several theoretical and empirical issues related to the potential for increasing capacities for innovation, knowledge and entrepreneurship. It highlights the current academic and political consensus that calls for policy interventions targeted towards more balanced, inclusive and regionally cohesive growth.
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Iréne Bernhard, Anna Karin Olsson and Ulrika Lundh Snis

This chapter contributes knowledge on the challenges of collaboration within local community regeneration in order to identify innovative approaches at work in smaller cities through case studies in Sweden and Norway. Place innovation perspectives are applied to address issues of diversity and inclusiveness in the renewal of a small city centre or district based on cultural heritage. In-depth qualitative interviews in 2016–2018, participatory observations and document studies were conducted. The results reveal stakeholders’ views on challenges related to collaborative approaches for place innovation. The complex nature of the two cases is characterized by diverse perspectives, conflicts and attitudes; limited inclusion of stakeholders; lack of digital communication and information as well as face-to-face information, and indistinct place identity. Findings indicate that place innovation requires an integrated approach based on including diverse stakeholder perspectives through common communication spaces, cultivating place identity and applying a step-by-step regeneration.