Resilience, and particularly the resilience of urban and regional economies, depends on underlying innovation capacities in those cities and regions. In an era of rapid technological change and devolved governance, innovation occurs in policy design and implementation as well as in the more familiar domains associated with new products, processes, materials, and markets. Innovation is a factor in how resilient firms, intermediaries, and supply chains face shifting market conditions and absorb new technology. This chapter describes two key intersections between resilience and innovation: innovative governance characterized by policy diffusion networks, and regional economic ecosystems characterized by open innovation. The discussion of policy diffusion networks is based on an analysis of the scope, character, and geographic distribution of such networks since 2011. The discussion of open innovation and regional economic ecosystems relies on an industry case study of “smart cities” as an enabling industry defined by the integration of information and communications technologies with urban infrastructure deployment. The combination of these two empirical cases of evolving mechanisms of and for technology diffusion into cities—as places and as institutions—highlights the intersections between resilience and innovation.
The relationship between governance, policy and regional development is explored in this chapter through a discussion of the processes and actors implicated in regeneration economies and their respective, observed roles in contributing to regional growth and decline. It draws upon examples primarily from the US, to highlights how empirical research on regional growth and change is indeed contributing to a research agenda that is informing policy development that is capable of supporting economic regeneration. A key question that is considered is: “what then can regional studies say about what we know about what works (and what does not) in building a set of policies that promote regeneration economies—supported at the national scale and implemented at the regional scale?” It is noted that ultimately the answer to this question is both retrospective in cataloguing what can be gleaned from the preponderance of existing evidence and it is prospective in setting the agenda for future research. This chapter highlights key aspects of that future research agenda.