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Cooperation and clusters have become the guiding paradigms for explaining and promoting regional competitiveness, but the cooperation process between firms and universities and the transfer of knowledge in guiding and nurturing regional competitiveness has received relatively little attention. This book strives to fill this gap in highlighting the connection between inter-firm cooperation in regional clusters, innovation and regional networks, and the role of universities in them . It goes beyond the traditional economic approach of clusters and includes ‘soft factors’ in the explanation of regional competitiveness, and connects the literature on clusters to the literature of learning and knowledge creation as sources of regional competitiveness. It aims to foster an international and interdisciplinary exchange of perspectives by presenting current developments, case studies, best practices as well as new integrated theoretical approaches and applications.



Inter-Firm Cooperation and (Regional) Clusters


Chapter 1. The Start-Up Location Decision and Regional Determinants

An important stream of literature in the past 20 years focuses on the impact of new firm formation, i.e., entrepreneurship, for the economic development of regions and nations. Addressing the importance of small business and new firm formation for economic growth (Audretsch 1995), a considerable outpouring of literature presented empirical evidence criticizing (Robson 1996) or confirming the “job generation process” theory and resulted in putting entrepreneurship at the forefront of research in an so-called “entrepreneurial” economy (Audretsch and Thurik 2000). The phenomenon of entrepreneurship is examined at various levels of analysis, such as individuals, firms, regions, or nations (Wennekers and Thurik 1999). Davidson and Wiklund (2001) argue that entrepreneurship research is dominated by micro-level analysis, mainly using the firm or the individual level of analysis. Reviewing nine peer-reviewed entrepreneurship journals, Chandler and Lyon (2001) find that only a small part of research designs focuses on the industry or macro-environment level. Davidson and Wiklund (2001) observe that the micro-level dominance increased over time, while the share of the aggregate level declined. Ucbasaran et al. (2001) call for more research on the existence of different and contrasting environmental conditions for entrepreneurship (see also Thurik 2009). But while the challenge of explaining how and why new firms emerge in regions or socioeconomic contexts raised much debate and resulted in an increasing body of literature, a certain number of gaps prevail.
Frank Lasch, Frank Robert, Frédéric Le Roy, Roy Thurik

Chapter 2. The Role of Science and Technology Parks in the Generation of Firm Level Social Capital Through University–Firm Relations: An Empirical Study in Spain

Nowadays, science and technology parks (STPs) generally represent a kind of public–private partnerships that are designed to foster knowledge flows, mainly among park firms, as well as between these firms and external R&D institutions, and thus improve regional economic growth (Link and Scott 2007). Despite there is no official definition of what is an STP, some common denominators across different existing models suggest a set of minimum standards and requirements that any knowledge cluster should have to earn this formal recognition (Link 2009).
Juan J. Jimenez-Moreno, Ricardo Martínez-Cañas, Pablo Ruiz-Palomino, Francisco J. Sáez-Martínez

Chapter 3. Knowledge Transfer in or Through Clusters: Outline of a Situated Approach

Clusters usually assume a dynamic of innovation at the crossroad between proximity and distance. On the one hand, proximity triggers trust and a sense of common understanding between members that allow for the transfer of knowledge, especially its tacit components. But, at the same time, the innovativeness of the cluster also depends on distance: participants from different organizations with different skills, objectives, and interests interact in a joint network. It creates a complex context for knowledge sharing, full of creative tensions and power issues.
Julie Hermans

Chapter 4. How Does a Researcher Become an Entrepreneur in the High-Tech Industrial Cluster? A Case Study

In the past few decades, the high-tech industrial cluster, as well as the science and technology park, played an important role in promoting research and industry cooperation and enhancing the technology commercialization in many places around the world. It has been pointed out by Saxenian that the interaction between universities and the research institutes and the enterprises in industrial clusters is a primary driver for the growth of Silicon Valley (Saxenian 1996). Feldman (1994) insisted that the innovativeness of high-tech industry relies to a large extent on the basic researches, which are largely taken by the R&D activities of government lab or universities. The enterprises’ geographic proximity to universities and technology institutes enable the rapid knowledge and technology transfer. Therefore, high-tech enterprises prefer to agglomerate near universities and technology institutes, in order to benefit from the knowledge spillover, while researchers began to transform themselves into high-tech entrepreneurs.
Rongzhi Liu, Haiyan Zhang, Zhi Yang

Chapter 5. The Impact of Inter-firm Cooperation on Performance: A Two-Region Experience

The management literature provides extensive coverage of the different motives and factors that encourage companies to cooperate and adhere to cooperative relationships. Nielsen (1988), who influenced a wide body of authors (Heide and Miner 1992; Parkhe 1993; Hagedoorn and Schakenraad 1994; Mohr and Spekman 1994; Gulati 1995; Browning et al. 1995; Holm et al. 1999; Afuah 2009), seeks to demonstrate that cooperative strategies may ethically boost organisational efficiency in various circumstances. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, he sets out the utility of cooperative strategies within the scope of concepts such as the environmental life cycle, generic strategies and aggregating value before concluding that strategies involving cooperation between major corporations may be more efficient than external market mechanisms. Hence, cooperative strategies are susceptible to enhancing organisational efficiency in various different market scenarios.
João J. M. Ferreira, Mário L. Raposo, Cristina I. Fernandes

Entrepreneurial Activities, Innovation and Regional Networks


Chapter 6. Transition Regions: Green Innovation and Economic Development

This chapter has three main aims. The first of these is to discuss and critique the main spatial and non-spatial theories that address methods by which societies may transition from a hydrocarbon to a post-hydrocarbon technological regime. It is argued that the first approach, which combines urban regime theory of politics with ecological modernisation theory, is ultimately contradictory and rooted in an inadequate “sustainability” discourse. The second approach is more interesting, not least because it adopts an evolutionary rather than a conflict perspective, it visualises the problem as “climate change” rather than “sustainability” and it conceptualises change beyond the level of mere technological regimes of a Schumpeterian kind. It allows the strategist to progress from the potential of building a “green” market niche that includes the urban governance stimulus but is not limited by it. Then it facilitates thinking about how such niches may coalesce to form an intervening “green” technological paradigm Schumpeter-style. Finally, it opens out a co-evolutionary process by which all social, political and economic sub-systems become synchronised long term into a post-hydrocarbon socio-technical landscape of a kind that would mitigate anthropogenic global warming. Its weakness is a lack of spatial sensibility regarding how this process would work, an underdeveloped notion of the role of governance in niche, regime and landscape co-evolution, and an inadequate appreciation of how innovation operates in facilitating these processes. To overcome this we propose the theoretical and practical concept of Transition Regions.
Philip Cooke

Chapter 7. Clusters, Learning, and Regional Development: Theory and Cases

The economy today is more globalized than ever before in the history of mankind. While the limits of electronic communication are continuously pushed beyond new horizons, globalization can only be expected to increase further (Friedman 2005). Paradoxically, perhaps, the economy is at the same time increasingly an economy of regions (Morgan 2004; Scott and Storper 2003). Obviously, there are stark contrasts between regions that have successfully linked up to the global economy and those that have not. Which begs the question why some regions perform better than others in the global economy? True to Porter’s (1990) adage that not nations (or regions) compete but companies, and given the fact that successful companies are often embedded in strong regional clusters of companies (Dupuy and Torre 2006; Spencer et al. 2010), the question is more accurately rephrased as: why do some clusters perform better than others? The answer to this question must be sought along two related but distinct lines of inquiry. First of all the characteristics of clusters are important with regard to their success or failure in the global economy. Secondly, the characteristics of the region wherein a cluster is embedded must be considered. This chapter addresses both lines of inquiry based on the assumption that economic performance is fundamentally driven by innovation, learning, and knowledge creation. Therefore, the degree in which a cluster is successful in creating new knowledge and converting the outcomes of that process into innovations is of crucial importance for the understanding of the economic performance of that cluster. Similarly, the degree in which a region offers a favorable social and institutional environment for learning and innovation offers an important explanation for the economic performance of its companies.
Roel Rutten, Dessy Irawati

Chapter 8. Sociocultural Factors and Female Entrepreneurship in the Innovative Service Sector in Catalonia: A Qualitative Analysis

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the main sociocultural factors and their impact on female entrepreneurship in the innovative service sector in Catalonia (Spain) and to establish differences to male initiatives using the institutional approach as a theoretical framework. Based on a comparative case study, the principal findings suggest that social networks, role models, entrepreneurial attitudes and family context are important determinants of female entrepreneurship. Family context is, in particular, a crucial factor, which might have a larger impact on women than men. The research contributes both theoretically, with the creation of knowledge in less researched areas such as female entrepreneurship in Spain, and practically, through the development of sustainable support policies for female entrepreneurial activity.
Maria Noguera, Claudia Alvarez, Domingo Ribeiro, David Urbano

Chapter 9. Academic Entrepreneurship Framework: The Best Practices of Bragança Polytechnic Institute

Academics in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation studies have long been interested in the entrepreneurial behaviour of higher education researchers and in the entrepreneurial activities of higher education institutions more generally (Chrisman et al. 1995; Stuart and Ding 2006; Rothaermel et al. 2007). Some academics are in agreement that the contribution of academic researchers to business activities solves some imperfections in the transmission of knowledge, and motivates researchers to undertake projects with greater economic and social relevance (Gittelman and Kogut 2003; Etzkowitz 2004).
José Adriano, Paula Fernandes, Humberto Sampaio, Joana Lopes

Knowledge Transfers Between University and Industry


Chapter 10. Academic Interactions with Private, Public and Not-for-Profit Organisations: The Known Unknowns

An increased emphasis on the role of innovation in economic development has focused attention on the university as an important contributor to the innovation process. Universities are engaged in research and education and, therefore, provide critical resources for innovation such as skills and knowledge. They are one of the main organisational elements of the innovation system (Cooke et al. 1997; Lundvall 1992; Nelson 1993) and one which is involved, through market and non-market linkages, with other innovation agents including business, government and nongovernmental organisations.
Maria Abreu, Vadim Grinevich

Chapter 11. The Role of Academic Spin-Off Founders’ Motivation in the Hungarian Biotechnology Sector

Increasing attention towards the role of universities in regional development has resulted in a large number of publications over the past quarter of a century. A sizeable body of literature shows a specific focus on academic entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial activities in academia may take the forms of externally funded research, earning of supplemental income, trade secret generation (Louis et al. 1989), contract research, sales and testing, external teaching, patenting, licensing or spin-off firm formation (Klofsten and Jones-Evans 2000). Some of these activities have long been present in the scientific domain. However, there seems to be a recent turn in academic entrepreneurship as specific tasks related to science-directed commercialization in forms of patenting, licensing and spin-off firm formation have become significant elements of scientists’ everyday activities (Gulbrandsen and Slipersaeter 2007). Etzkowitz (1983) argues that entrepreneurial universities created by the second academic revolution are the result of a natural evolutionary process of these institutions as a response to declining resources, increasing competition and requirements set by the knowledge economy (Etzkowitz et al. 2000; Goldstein 2009).
Katalin Erdős, Attila Varga

Chapter 12. Hirschman Mobility, Governance and Loyalty in Europe’s Top Research Universities

The emergence of Europe’s knowledge economy has been slower than expected, if one takes the USA as a baseline, particularly in terms of anticipated knowledge productivity and related economic growth. But knowledge diffusion has also expanded more slowly than hoped. Many factors have been advanced as responsible, ranging from the incomplete integration of existing and new EU member economies to the ongoing reorganisation of traditional regimes of higher education throughout Europe.
Edward M. Bergman

Chapter 13. Action-Based Education in Academic Entrepreneurship: A New Role of the Student?

The scope of entrepreneurship programs offered by academia has expanded significantly in many areas around Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand (Gartner and Vesper 1994). With reference to the theory of planned behavior and the literature on entrepreneurship education, research has confirmed that students taking entrepreneurship programs increase their competencies and strengthen their intention towards self-employment (Fayolle et al. 2006; Mwasalwiba 2010; Sanches 2010). In examining the literature, more economic oriented studies with ex ante and ex post survey responses find that students learn about their entrepreneurial aptitude through entrepreneurship education (von Graevenitz 2010). Based on previous research, Dutta et al. (2011) conclude that specialized entrepreneurship education has a significant positive impact on the likelihood of future venture creation. However, a diverse and broad-based educational experience seems to make a critical difference in terms of the entrepreneurs’ personal income and net worth. Thus, the former facilitates venture creation, whereas the latter adds to entrepreneurial success. Further, it has been noted that academic entrepreneurship is regarded as an experience or outcome, rather than a clearly defined role (Jain et al. 2009). Interestingly, in research on entrepreneurial universities (83 studies in all) revealing organizational designs that enhance commercialization of university innovations, a focus on entrepreneurial education is totally missing. The term academic entrepreneurship has been treated as a task academics can perform, but not as a role in itself (Jain et al. 2009). Thus, a blank spot in previous literature is knowledge on how the new action-based entrepreneurship programs offered by universities affect the role of students (Foss and Lozano 2012; Ollila and Williams-Middleton 2011; Rasmussen and Sørheim 2006).
Lene Foss, Elin M. Oftedal, Tatiana Iakovleva
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