Building Innovative Ecosystems
Edited by John Sibley Butler and David V. Gibson
Chapter 11: Portugal at the Crossroads of Change, Facing the ‘Shock of the New’: People, Knowledge and Ideas Fostering the Social Fabric to Facilitate the Concentration of Knowledge-integrated Communities
11. Portugal at the crossroads of change, facing the ‘shock of the new’: people, knowledge and ideas fostering the social fabric to facilitate the concentration of knowledge-integrated communities* Manuel Heitor and Marco Bravo 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on the challenges that specific world regions and small countries, like Portugal, are facing in their experience of international knowledge networks. It is factual and presented in the context of the emerging debate worldwide on patterns of innovation (OECD, 2009a) and the need for long-term growth strategies. The analysis requires us to look at competence building and the need to better understand the evolving phenomenon of ‘democratizing innovation’ (von Hippel, 2005); we argue that value creation requires a serious commitment to the advanced training of human resources (‘Increasing human resources’, 2004) and to supporting and promoting their research (basic and translational) through knowledge networks. This is because Portugal has recently achieved the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average in terms of the number of researchers per thousand workforce (that is, about 8.2 in 2009, although this is still low compared to the United States and Japan) and it has become a commonplace that ‘knowledge is increasingly important’. Commonplaces are comforting, but often sterile, both intellectually and in terms of suggesting actions to private and public decision makers, given that it is difficult to add much novelty to discussions associated with commonplaces (Conceição et al., 2003a). 270 M2540 - BUTLER PRINT.indd 270 25/02/2011 16:48 Portugal at the crossroads of...
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