Knowledge Regions and Cities
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Regions and cities provide crucibles in which issues associated with science, knowledge, governance, economy, society, culture and environment interact, react and collide.
Yet not all places are the same and not all can prosper in the highly competitive race for knowledge-based advantage.
Developing context-sensitive policies, processes and programmes is important if knowledge, science and innovation are to play a transformative role in the urban and regional futures of ordinary as well as world-ranking places.
Understanding these dynamics is a critical first step in improving the effectiveness of interventions designed to build knowledge regions and cities.
Our work in this area focuses on the multi-level governance of science and innovation; dominant and alternative policy responses; the roles of different actors and an evaluation of strategies at local, regional and cross-regional scales.
A critical contribution has been to better understand how excellence and relevance, the global and the local, the economic and the social and ‘science’ and ‘knowledge’ manifest in different localities.
With funding from organizations such as the ESRC, OECD and Northern Way, SURF has built an understanding of how different places are responding to the need to build science regions and cities. International case studies have been carried out in France, Germany and Spain and comparisons taken out further through engagement with a wider network of academic and policy contacts.
Our work for the Science Cities Policy Development consortium informed the Science Cities submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2007. The evaluation of the Innovation Investment Fund in Manchester builds on these insights to develop a comparative understanding of issues in practice and their particular manifestations.
The roles of different actors are critical, with a particular need to disaggregate different business and sectoral interests in the search for knowledge-based regions. Our work for the British Chambers of Commerce highlighted some of the difficulties in formulating policy in this area and the need for more nuanced understandings of the potential contributions of different organizations and sectors.
Innovation is a cross-cutting issue. It is increasingly seen as an opportunity in relation to addressing the challenges of climate change, reflected in an emerging coalescence between ‘green’, ‘renewable’ and ‘innovation’ agendas. The theory, policy and practice of sustainable innovation in its broadest sense are central themes in SURF’s work.
- Innovative Urban Environments
- Territorial Knowledge in States with Dominant Capital Cities
- Multi-level Governance of Science and Innovation Policy
- Realising the Potential of Science Cities
- Business, Regions and Innovation
- Building Science Regions
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- Cities, Innovation and Knowledge, SURF, 11th June 2009.
- Governing Science: Towards an Interdisciplinary Narrative of Change, 2005, SURF and ESRC, 24-25 November 2005
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- Governance, Science Policy and Regions (2007): Special Edition of Journal.
- Realising the Potential of Science Cities: Evidence, Practice and Policy Lessons (2007): Research Report.
- Building Science Regions and Cities (2006): Edited Newsletter.
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