Edited by Richard Shearmu, Christophe Carrincazeaux and David Doloreux
Part IV Beyond agglomeration and clusters: introduction
The introduction to this part will be brief since the rationale for thinking beyond agglomeration has been set out in the introduction to Part III. In that introduction the reasons why cities are considered to be the main generators of innovation are described, as are some reasons to qualify this idea. Part IV comprises five chapters that provide empirical backing for the idea that innovation and creativity occur in settings that diverge from clusters and large cities. Grossetti et al. in Chapter 12 explicitly test four widely held beliefs about scientific activity. While they confirm that scientific activity is indeed geographically concentrated, they show that this concentration is not increasing, that quality research does not require a critical mass of researchers and that scientific activities are only internationalizing in a qualified way. Taken together these results, which focus on a very specific component of the innovation process, belie the idea that co-location and agglomeration are necessary for innovation to occur. If agglomeration is observed – which it is – it does not have the effect on innovation that is expected.
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