Global Clusters of Innovation
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Global Clusters of Innovation

Entrepreneurial Engines of Economic Growth around the World

Edited by Jerome S. Engel

In the geography of the global economy, there are known ‘hot spots’ where new technologies germinate at an astounding rate and pools of capital, expertise and talent foster the development of new industries and new ways of doing business. These clusters of innovation are significant drivers of value creation and function as models for economic expansion in both developed and developing countries. This book explores the key attributes of these innovation hubs using case studies from around the world.
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Chapter 5: Spain: creating ecologies of innovation in cities – the case of 22@Barcelona

Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway and Josep M. Piqué


Talent will be the center of the economy in this century and cities will be the platforms. Cities have been the engines of national economies and critical nodes for innovation and competitiveness. Innovation is generated in cities. There are new challenges facing cities, however. Globalization has made the knowledge economy the basis of a shift in the production fabric of cities and regions (Sassen, 1991). Talent, creativity and innovation have become the main components of new competitiveness; seizing and mobilizing these resources will be necessary for a stable and sustainable future. Cities will need to become ‘knowledge cities’—learning how to enhance their infrastructure, governance, and mode of operation in order to attract and manage talent and promote a knowledge base to bring the three dimensions of a successful globalization, namely prosperity, equity and sustainability, to their communities. The European Union is targeting economic growth as the main ambition in plans for the next decade. However, a change in the quality and attributes of this growth can be detected: ‘. . . we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion’ (European Commission, 2011). In addition to creating employment or economic activity, it is from these added value actions, based on creativity and innovation, that a competitive future and an alternative to the economic crisis can emerge.

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