Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Currently in Linkoping, Sweden, acting as an external examiner for a Ph.D entitled “The Dynamics of Innovation and Knowledge-Based Regional Development”.

It examines how geographical regions as diverse as Silicon Valley, California and Linköping, Sweden have been the sources of new technology and endogenously created innovations. In particular, it studies the dynamics of specific regions or clusters of businesses in developing the capability to engage in more innovative activities and new business formation and to experience higher employment growth than others.

This dissertation’s main findings are that

(a) regional leadership involving the building of alliances with triple-helix actors (government, industry, academia) is crucial for initiating a knowledge-based regional development process
(b) a consensus space is a catalytic mechanism for ensuring the speed and effectiveness of regional development
(c) lowering the barriers for the actors involved boosts participation and the rate of innovation, and
(d) users’ perspectives are essential for social, institutional and commercial innovation.

This dissertation’s main implications are that knowledge-based regional development’s initial stages require leadership that:

(a) builds alliances and establish an arena for the triple-helix actors
(b) analyses the regional barriers to the commercialisation of knowledge
(c) utilises both endogenous and exogenous resources.

Obviously some implications for the Welsh economy and where we can get such leadership which is sadly lacking at the moment. I look forward to discussing this more detail later.

...and yes, it is bloody cold!