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Edited by Philip Cooke, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma, Ron Martin, Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling
Chapter 38: Regional Innovation and Incubation: The Technological Incubators Programme for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Daniel Shefer and Amnon Frenkel INTRODUCTION The development of high-tech industry and the rate of innovation adoption have often been linked to rapid economic growth. Although a general framework for technological entrepreneurship as a means of economic growth was advanced by Schumpeter back in the 1930s (Schumpeter, 1934), it was only in the 1980s that interest was renewed in this area. The rationale for public support of high-tech industry is based on two assumptions. First, that high-tech industry is a desirable activity for the economy of any country in that it gives a high added value, has many positive externalities that influence other branches of the economy, and is strongly export-oriented (particularly important to small economies). The second assumption describes the different market failures associated with high-tech industry, such as the difficulty or inability of enforcing intellectual property rights and, therefore, reap the benefits from the new discoveries; and the need for a critical mass of knowledge and funds in specific areas. Particular attention has been given to new technology-based firms in recent decades (Cooke and Morgan, 1998; Moore and Garnsey, 1993). In an evolutionary perspective, small new firms provide the pool from which the big industries of the future will emerge. They have proved to be much more flexible and adaptable to new technologies than big firms, thereby helping innovation to reach the market faster (Garnsey et al., 1994). The spatial distribution of high-tech industry has been the focus of many studies. Agglomeration of industries, such as found in...
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