The Role of Law
- Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Megan M. Carpenter
Chapter 4: Transforming Professional Services to Build Regional Innovation Ecosystems
4. Transforming professional services to build regional innovation ecosystems Sean M. O’Connor INTRODUCTION As policymakers seek the right policies to help industrial, or even preindustrial, regional economies evolve into knowledge-based ones, they increasingly focus on concepts of “innovation ecosystems,” or “clusters.”1 Originating in its current form largely from Michael Porter’s seminal The Competitive Advantage of Nations,2 a growing literature seeks to unpack and suggest ways to operationalize these concepts. Porter has succinctly defined his notion of a cluster as a “geographic concentration of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions (e.g., universities, standards agencies, trade associations) in a particular field that compete but also cooperate.”3 The key components of a cluster or innovation ecosystem4 have more recently been summarized by a leading policymaker as: “A talent pool that connects across disciplines; [a]n ‘innovation infrastructure’ with physical facilities; [a] skilled workforce; [a]ccess to capital; and [a] support system that can shepherd promising innovations through the so-called ‘valley of death.’ ”5 While the expanding literature has begun exploring the human capital components of innovation ecosystems, little 1 See, e.g., U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Remarks at Innovation Clusters Conference, the Brookings Institution (Sept. 23, 2010) (Prepared remarks of Sec’y of Commerce, Gary Locke). 2 Michael Porter, The Competitive Advantage of Nations (New York, NY, U.S.A.: Free Press, 1990) 3 Michael Porter, Location, Competition, And Economic Development: Local Clusters In A Global Economy, 14 Econ. Dev. Q. 15 (2000). 4 This Chapter adopts...
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