Innovation is commonly acknowledged to be a principal element in economic growth and competitiveness (Capello and Nijkamp, 2009; Harris, 2011). Entrepreneurship is also a key source of such growth (Audretsch et al. 2006). There is a growing school of thought that the networks facilitating flows of knowledge within and across regions are an important underpinning factor (Huggins and Izushi, 2007). Furthermore, regions are increasingly considered to be important foci of economic development and organisation in a globalised economy (Malecki, 2007; Fritsch and Mueller, 2004). The ability of regions to gain from the positive effects of entrepreneurship is likely to depend on their capability to turn knowledge into regional innovation (Audretsch and Keilbach, 2008). The innovation systems literature, especially the regional variety, highlights the flow of knowledge across organisations as a crucial factor for effective innovation (Cooke et al. 2011).
This article focuses on those three contemporary determinants of development at the regional level: entrepreneurship; innovation and networks. Drawing on examples from Silicon Valley; Taiwan and Finland, it is argued that an open networked environment, built upon global knowledge search, is central to successful innovation and entrepreneurship, and subsequently regional competitiveness. In particular, it contrasts the open model of economic development adopted by Taiwan, especially the activities of its diaspora, and the more closed model associated formerly with Finland. Also, it shows how the enduring success of Silicon Valley has occurred through processes of networked connectivity and recombinant innovation.
How to Cite:
Huggins, R., 2016. Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Networks: Lessons for Regional Development Policy. Welsh Economic Review, 24, pp.18–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2016.10051