Emerging Technology Innovation Poles
Chapter 1: The Key Elements of Innovation Infrastructure and the Evolution of Knowledge Regions: A Framework for Analysis
1. The key elements of innovation infrastructure and the evolution of knowledge regions: a framework for analysis INTRODUCTION The last quarter of the twentieth century has witnessed the unfolding of a fast paced innovation-driven global economy where knowledge and innovation are increasingly recognized as sources of global competitiveness and economic well-being. Scholars have shown that a country’s capability to commercialize innovative products and services is related to its research activities and its proportion of scientists and engineers, and to its policies and programs supportive of research and its commercialization. It is also related to the development of geographically concentrated clusters of institutions and firms in a common field and to the quality of the linkages between those institutions and firms (Porter and Stern, 2002). The founding and growth of new firms for the creation of innovative products and services depends not only on the behavior of individual entrepreneurs, but also on the communities in which they live and work (Schoonhoven and Romanelli, 2002). Regions, rather than nation states, with their knowledge base, their innovative firms and their enterprising individuals, have been shown to be key contributors to innovation (Keeble and Wilkinson, 2000; Bresnaham and Gambardella, 2004). The relationship between innovation, competitiveness and economic wellbeing has led to unprecedented efforts by policy makers at various levels: national, state, regional, and municipal to enhance innovation capability through policies that are placing an ever-increasing emphasis on collaborative research, on the effective development of new technology and on its speedy diffusion into the marketplace....
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