Platforms of Innovation
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Platforms of Innovation

Dynamics of New Industrial Knowledge Flows

Edited by Philip Cooke, Carla De Laurentis, Stewart MacNeill and Chris Collinge

This ground-breaking book offers a coherent theoretical analysis of contemporary industrial knowledge flow dynamics. Furthermore, it advances wide-ranging and varied empirical findings from international comparative research which demonstrate that knowledge cross-pollination, often from industrially unrelated business sectors, is now commonplace in the economics of innovation. This, the authors argue, represents the rise of an externalized ‘matrix’ of knowledge flow dynamics among firms and industries. The book also examines related economic governance research that reveals the catalytic role that leading innovation policy agencies play in animating knowledge flow dynamics, particularly at the regional level. The chapters address various sectors including food and drink, biotechnology, ICT, new media, the automotive industry and tourism.
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Chapter 1: Trends and Drivers of the Knowledge Economy

Philip Cooke and Carla De Laurentis


Philip Cooke and Carla De Laurentis INTRODUCTION 1.1 This introductory chapter sets the scene for the research subsequently reported. These findings arose from a comparative European Union (EU) funded 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development Integrated Project entitled Regional Trajectories to the Knowledge Economy: a Dynamic Model, the acronym for which was Eurodite. For simplicity, the acronym is used throughout the book to refer to the research project. Being an Integrated Project of five years’ duration meant that the project was large in scope and scale. It had a larger than normal number of partners – some 28, based in different regions throughout the EU and beyond – and was, accordingly, intellectually and organizationally complex. The intellectual complexity arose from the key focus of Eurodite, which was to understand knowledge flows of key actors in the economies being studied. While there existed some literature on the subject, there was no coherent and comprehensive methodology for studying ‘knowledge in practice’ readily available. Hence, much effort was expended on evolving such a methodology as a prerequisite for conducting the proposed research. In the chapters that follow, it will be seen how the finally adopted methodology evolved. This was assisted but also, on occasions, rendered more difficult by the triple focus of the research. This involved, first, understanding knowledge flows among firms and between firms and other institutional actors of consequence, such as governments, universities, public research laboratories and intermediaries. Second, an element which became one of the most original dimensions of the...

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