Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Helsinki University of Technology, October 2002. Innovative Places: Networks and the Virtual Rob Shields, Professor Carleton University, Ottawa Canada. 4 Explanations of innovative cities and regions :. 1. ‘ Growth Poles’
Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Helsinki University of Technology, October 2002.Innovative Places: Networks and the VirtualRob Shields, ProfessorCarleton University, Ottawa Canada
1. ‘Growth Poles’
Traditional Agglomeration and Business Cycle theory (Schumpeter, Marshall)
-innovations are concentrated in cities because they are more hospitable environments for the incubation and formation of new firms in part due to the agglomeration of potential inputs.
-received wisdom until the 1970s
>widely critiqued (also by Schumpeter himself)
-national chains link producers to consumers
-smaller firms concentrate to build and share local supply chains and skilled labour pools (institutional analysis; Scott 1990; Storper 1995)
-firms spin-off innovative units locally but address international markets
-typical of regional innovation clusters (Po Valley etc.)
>doesn’t clarify causal linkages: do innovative places create innovative firms or vice versa?
Knowledge economy theories (Lundvall 1992)
-Scandinavian (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
-some local innovation systems are better at acquiring and using new knowledge than others because they are adaptable and have a highly knowledgeable labour force.
-Movement of labour between firms creates a system of learning and knowledge transfer
>what is knowledge?
>over-emphasizes the firm
Competitive supply chain theory (Krugman 1991; Porter 1990)
-regional specializations and high quality local factors (supporting industries, firms, public sector) geared to demanding local and national clients/customers encounter international trading opportunities
-‘virtuous circle’ of innovation and competitiveness
>over-emphasizes local quality of rivalry/collaboration and of ‘best practice’ suppliers
>theory-lag: clusters increasingly found to be locally-specific. Can’t generalize
-Innovation is concentrated in core metropolitan centres
-clustering is most typical of mature and primary industries, not high tech nor high productivity sectors.
-innovation systems and their geographies vary from country to country
-markets are international
-customers are demanding
-attract and retain specialized professional technical labour
(Feldman 1994; Hilpert 1992; CEC DG XII 1999; OECD 2001; Simmie et al 2002)
-hold indigenous labour and attract labour via ‘quality of life’
-local specialists can understand and apply cutting edge
ideas from elsewhere
-local competitive advantages
-distinctive technologies / training
-key universities/research facilities
-high-speed telecommunications / international airports
-spatial and temporal proximity of key suppliers
-access to national public sector demand and key large clients
(Shields 2001; 2002)
-‘Place’ is in many ways invisible and intangible.
-One only sees how ‘innovative places’ are actualized.
-Only certain Innovation ‘Affordances’ are taken up.
-Other affordances remain ‘virtual’
-Place is an entanglement of the virtual and concrete
‘Everyday Life’ is a synthesis of these
Matrix of the forms of the real and possible, the ideal and actual
Real (existing) Possible (representations)
Ideal : virtual abstract
Actual : material probability (%)
What roles can the public sector can play?