Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by David Smallbone, Hans Landström and Dylan Jones-Evans
Chapter 2: Regional Innovation, Collective Entrepreneurship and Green Clusters
Philip Cooke INTRODUCTION The subject of this chapter is innovation and regions, highlighting new research on ‘green’ entrepreneurship, innovation and clusters. Accordingly it focuses particularly on the contribution that has been made to regional growth and prosperity through the operation of regional innovation systems and strategies. Of course a chapter on such a subject must recognize that the processes and outcomes being presented are not limited to regions alone. However, it has become increasingly clear during the past 15 years or so since the subject was first aired in the academic literature (Cooke, 1992) that the regional focus is particularly well suited to supporting the innovation activities of firms and knowledge organizations. The latter include university research centres and institutes, as well as public and private specialist research institutes outside the university sphere. These interact and display strong connectivity in robust regional innovation systems. Knowledge flows to those who need it, and commercial opportunities arise. This is the aim, and in many cases the achievement, of democratic authorities, their agencies and private associations of firms and other innovation organizations that make up a regional innovation system. In recent years, such governance mechanisms have sometimes evolved with only light touch steering being applied, elsewhere they have been designed by a multilevel governance process. Some countries draw on traditions of enterprise, individualistic as well as collective; others induce it at regional level by subsidizing what may be deemed collective entrepreneurship. Collective entrepreneurship goes along with connective innovation in a systems approach to...
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