Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth
Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok
Chapter 7: Driving regional growth: the growing role of policies to promote clusters
Ever since Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128 gained global attention as fountains of dynamic new high-technology companies, state and local governments across the United States have tried to create innovation clusters of their own (Katz et al., 2010). These innovation clusters are regional concentrations of large and small companies that develop creative products and services, along with specialized suppliers, service providers, universities, and associated institutions. To this end, state and local governments have sought to attract a critical mass of skills and talent. Seeking to promote a high level of interaction among entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators, they have invested in science parks, business incubators to nurture start-ups, and an array of research collaborations between universities and private industry (Muro and Katz, 2010). The federal government has traditionally played an important though largely supportive role in the development of regional innovation clusters. Federally funded research and military procurement have been instrumental in the emergence of clusters that have formed around major research universities. Through legislation, such as the Bayh–Dole Act of 1980, Congress has encouraged universities and national laboratories to commercialize federally funded research.
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