Dynamics of New Industrial Knowledge Flows
Edited by Philip Cooke, Carla De Laurentis, Stewart MacNeill and Chris Collinge
1. Trends and drivers of the knowledge economy 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...
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