The learning region offers a new perspective on the dynamics of change which shape the economy. This is an examination of the transformation of the modern economy into one in which knowledge is the most important resource and learning the most important process for economic growth. In the modern economy, successful firms, as well as governments, are those which have control over and access to flows of information and knowledge of technologies, markets, and organizational and managerial practice. In order to examine this, the authors innovation, industrial network and institutional theories to the many factors which together constitute learning regions: regional innovation policy, geographical clusters of collaborating firms and the role of research centres in the innovative potential of regions. They find that the learning region paradigm opens new possibilities for research and policy, and use case studies in Germany, Holland and Belgium to illustrate these possibilities. The authors also explore European Union and regional government policy on innovation and regional development.
Finally, the examine inter-firm and intra-firm collaboration and regional business and innovation systems.
Introduction to learning regions - a new issue to analysis? Frans Boekema et al; learning and agglomeration economies - adapting to differentiating economic structures, Jan Lambooy; the learning capabilities of regions - conceptual policies and patterns, Marina van Geenhuizen and Peter Nijkamp; distance and learning - does proximity matter? Paivi Oinas; innovation and regional development policy, Mikel Landabaso; planning the learning region - an Italian approach, Nicola Bellini; in search of a regional innovation strategy for Flanders, Ben Dankbaar and Jan Cobbenhagen; learning, innovation and proximity - an empirical exploration of patterns of learning - a case study, Leon A.G. Oerlemans, Marius T.H. Meeus and Frans W.M. Boekema; learning in non-core regions - towards "intelligent clusters" -addressing business and regional needs, A. Lagendijk; interactive learning within a regional innovation system - a case study in a Dutch region, Marius T.H. Meeus and Leon A.G. Oerlemans; innovation in regional supplier networks - the case of KIC, Roel Rutten; the analysis of learning regions - conclusions and research agenda, Roel Rutten, Silvia Bakkers and Frans Boekema.
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