Working Regions focuses on policy aimed at building sustainable and resilient regional economies in the wake of the global recession. Using examples of four ‘working regions’ — regions where research and design functions and manufacturing still coexist in the same cities — the book argues for a new approach to regional economic development. It does this by highlighting policies that foster innovation and manufacturing in small firms, focus research centers on pushing innovation down the supply chain, and support dynamic, design-driven firm networks.
This book traces several key themes underlying the core proposition that for a region to work, it has to link research and manufacturing activities — namely, innovation and production — in the same place. Among the topics discussed in this volume are the issues of how the location of research and development infrastructure produces a clear role of the state in innovation and production systems, and how policy emphasis on pre-production processes in the 1990s has obscured the financialization of intellectual property. Throughout the book, the author draws on examples from diverse industries, including the medical devices industry and the US photonics industry, in order to illustrate the different themes of working regions and the various institutional models operating in various countries and regions.
Table of Contents
1. Working Regions: Regeneration by design 2. The Spatial Distribution of Advanced Manufacturing 3. The Rise of the Research Center: The nexus between national innovation policies and regional development 4. The Trade in Innovation: The evolution of intellectual property markets 5. Hidden in Plain Sight: The North American optics and photonics industry 6. Working Regions in Practice: Apparel and outdoor equipment and medical devices industries 7. Flexible Specialization 2.0: The design + build approach to working regions
Jennifer Clark is Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. She writes, consults, and speaks on the subject of national and regional development policies related to innovation and manufacturing, and the effect of those policies on cities and their economic competitiveness. Her book Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy, a collaboration with Susan Christopherson, won the Best Book Award from the Regional Studies Association in 2009 and is also published by Routledge.