Innovation beyond clusters
Innovation is often touted as the fount of economic growth and development in contemporary capitalism. For example, hi-tech sectors like the life sciences are frequently presented as a major opportunity for policy-makers to upgrade and renew regional economies, leading to wider socio-economic development. Much of this analysis has been based on trying to understand innovation asa spatially-bounded process, often framed in terms of hi-tech clusters. This paper seeks to understandwhere innovation happens in the UK life sciences, why it happens in those places, and what this means forregional development policies and strategies. It seeks to integrate diverse geographies (e.g. global, national and regional) and political-economic forces (e.g. discourses, governance and finance) in order to understand innovation beyond clusters, in order to outline where and how value circulates in the life sciences and who captures the value produced in life sciences innovation.
Kean Birch is an associate professor in the Department of Social Science, York University, and senior associate at the Innovation Policy Lab, University of Toronto. He has authored the following books: We Have Never Been Neoliberal (Zer0 Books, 2015), Innovation, Regional Development, and the Life Sciences: Beyond Clusters (Routledge, 2016), Business and Society: A Critical Introduction (Zed Books, 2017 - with others), and A Research Agenda for Neoliberalism (Edward Elgar, forthcoming). He is also co-editor of the following books: The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism (Zed Books, 2010 - with VladMykhnenko) and The Handbook of Neoliberalism (Routledge, 2016 - with Simon Springer & JulieMacLeavy). And he is currently working on a book for Palgrave Macmillan called Neoliberal Bioeconomies? The Co-construction of Markets and Natures.
A light lunch will be provided.
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