Dynamics of New Industrial Knowledge Flows
Edited by Philip Cooke, Carla De Laurentis, Stewart MacNeill and Chris Collinge
Chapter 2: The Rationale for Eurodite and an Introduction to the Sector Studies
Stewart MacNeill and Chris Collinge INTRODUCTION AND EURODITE OBJECTIVES 2.1 At the outset of the Eurodite project proposal stage in the early 2000s it was clear that the significance of knowledge for economic activity had grown exponentially since the 1980s. However, there was as yet little understanding of the nature and composition of the knowledge economy, especially at a regional level. The Eurodite project sought to address this deficiency by examining the dynamics of knowledge in the economies of European regions. A key aim, given that the client for the research was an important policy-framing body, was to generate findings that could be interpreted in ways that would inform policies seeking to promote the transition of Europe towards a knowledge-based society. The Lisbon Accords and aspirations would enshrine the policy importance of such a perspective for the rest of the decade. Questions in the minds of analysts and policy-makers alike included the following. What are the different trajectories towards the knowledge economy? Through what generative and communication pathways does knowledge flow into and within regional economies? Analytical frameworks would, as noted, be developed, enabling policy-makers to measure the intensity of regional knowledge use, and to identify appropriate practices for different regions given their respective economic base and level of knowledge development. Complementary activities ranging from workshops to websites were designed to ensure a high level of communication and take-up and validation of the project outputs. The overall goal of Eurodite was to understand the role of knowledge in the economies...
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