Promoting localized excellence in research and innovation: mapping contemporary policy trends in Sweden
2008 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
High-tech and science-based industries have been hyped as a key part of the knowledge economy and governments have acknowledged research and innovation as a top priority for promoting competitive advantage. A prominent trend in recent years in many European countries and beyond has been to direct research funding towards so-called Centres of Excellences (CoE): micro-concentrations of high-skilled workers and socially networked knowledge workers. By exploring recent trends in innovation policies in the case of Sweden, and setting up a comprehensive database including data from 110 granted CoE-initiative applications, a detailed picture is presented focusing on key policy actors, program design, prioritised sectors, and characteristics of leading researchers. Drawing on a theoretical model of localised excellence, we suggest that the initiatives can be mapped and further analysed along three dimensions: research; innovation; and value creation. We conclude by briefly discussing methodological issues concerning the possibilities and challenges of using this kind of empirical material for analysing localized knowledge production in the knowledge-based economy. Finally, the current policy rhetoric emphasising the importance of cluster- and CoE-initiatives for promoting economic growth is critically discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
innovation policies, Centres of Excellences, localized knowledge production, science-based industries, Sweden
Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-100249OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-100249DiVA: diva2:209957
Association of American Geographers' Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, April 15-19, 2008