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Innovation and entrepreneurship are prominent buzzwords in the modern lexicon, reflective of the knowledge economy in which we now dwell. While the possibilities in a world of big data, robotics, and the Internet of everything seem endless, they do indeed have limits. Cities, it has become routine to point out, are the harbingers of innovation and attract creative people who develop and apply the new technologies our economy now depends upon. But where does that leave those in rural, remote, and off-grid communities? Can regions such as the Arctic be places where new technologies are more readily adapted or even developed?
This chapter will briefly outline the challenges to innovation and entrepreneurialism in the Arctic. These include not only inherent barriers such as remoteness and a lack of economy of scale, but also structural barriers including a lack of STEM education opportunities, culture, the dominance of the public sector, and regulatory impediments. At least one solution is to approach Arctic innovation at a regional level and jointly develop solutions to common problems.
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- The Arctic as a Region of Innovation