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Regional Economies as Knowledge Laboratories

Edited by Philip Cooke and Andrea Piccaluga

Today, the study of regions is central to academic analysis and policy deliberation on how to respond to the rise of the knowledge economy. Regional Economies as Knowledge Laboratories illustrates how newer types of regional analysis – utilising scientometrics, knowledge services measures and university networks, and concepts such as knowledge life cycles, experimental knowledge creation, and knowledge ethics – are leading to a perception that regional economies increasingly resemble knowledge laboratories.
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Chapter 1: Strategic adaptation to the knowledge economy in less favoured regions: a South Ostrobothnian University network as a case in point

Markku Sotarauta and Kati-Jasmin Kosonen


Markku Sotarauta and Kati-Jasmin Kosonen 1. INTRODUCTION The knowledge economy, as it is defined in this volume, is a challenging environment for regional development agencies. In an industrial society, tangible resources and borders between nations, institutions, organizations and regions largely determined the destiny of regional economies and societies. In a knowledge economy, however, borders still exist and matter, of course, but they are fuzzier than before. Now the positions of both organizations and regions are more determined by their own competencies and skills to learn and develop in a continuous process. Consequently, local initiatives and an enterprising disposition are becoming more and more important in regional development. Institutional and innovative capabilities of regions are crucial. Scarce resources need to be channelled and allocated more efficiently than before, and new operational models need to be created to achieve a sustainable, competitive position in global economy. For, as Cooke (1995, 19) points out, one of the key policy recommendations is that the regional and local competitive edge rests on a successful interlinking of local and regional networks with global networks. In Finland, mainly large university cities and/or smaller towns specialized in the electronics industry have been able to meet the challenges of the knowledge economy and have been able to prosper economically in the global economy (see Antikainen and Vartiainen, 1999; Antikainen, 2001; Huovari et al., 2001). People and firms have migrated to those city regions where they believe that future opportunities are situated (see Raunio, 2001; Kostiainen, 1999). Less...

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