Global Clusters of Innovation, released in the UK today by Edward Elgar Publishing, takes a new tack in examining the growth of our global innovation economy—gathering together an international team of experts to examine the reasons for growth in their home areas.
The book, edited by Jerome Engel, a senior fellow and the founding executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of California, Berkeley, provides in-depth looks at how cities, countries, a corporation, and a nonprofit provide the basic nutrients necessary to spur explosive innovation. David J. Teece, chairman and principal executive officer of Berkeley Research Group and an authority on matters of industrial organization, technological change, and innovation, delivers a foreword to the book.
“Clusters of Innovation” refer to geographic “hot spots” where new technologies germinate at an astounding rate and pools of capital, expertise, and talent foster the development of new industries and new ways of doing business. These innovation generators have key attributes that provide a distinction from traditional industrial clusters, allowing them to extend beyond geographic boundaries and serve as models for economic expansion in both developed and developing countries.
The concept for the new innovation cluster framework that underlies the book came to Mr. Engel after he moved to the Bay Area and witnessed the extraordinary innovation-based economy of Silicon Valley. He noted its distinctive characteristics and how it linked to and drove the global technology economy.
“Instead of being dominated by mature corporations with 100+ year legacies, Silicon Valley was, by comparison, a tumultuous ecosystem of large and small companies with a common bond—whether big or small, they shared a hunger to create new products and services that would dominate new and growing markets,” noted Mr. Engel. “Yet traditional ‘agglomeration’ cluster theory did not adequately describe the phenomena I was observing. I came to understand that while individual clusters are unique, Clusters of Innovation do share certain fundamental characteristics. My coauthors and I have tried to illuminate these characteristics as they appear in the innovation ‘hot spots’ across the globe.”
The book examines how these clusters emerge; the role of individual institutions such as governments, universities, major corporations, investors, and the individual entrepreneur; and the systemic underpinnings, the famed “invisible hand,” that help encourage these communities. The book identifies common characteristics of these clusters, such as mobility of resources, entrepreneurial process, global strategic perspective, alignment of interests and incentives, and global ties and bonds.
Each chapter probes how these characteristics apply in a diverse selection of economic communities in Germany, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, China, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, and the role of transregional organizations as cross-border disseminators of best practices in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mr. Engel and coauthors Helmut Schönenberger, Wim De Waele, Shigeo Kagami, Itxaso del-Palacio, and Manav Subodh participated in a panel on global entrepreneurship and innovation at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) in London on October 2.
The book’s chapters and authors include:
- USA, Silicon Valley: Jerome S. Engel and Florian Forster, postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and 2012 Swiss National Science Foundation fellow
- Germany, Munich: Helmut Schönenberger, cofounder and managing director of UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at the Technical University of Munich, Germany
- Belgium: Wim De Waele, chief executive officer of iMinds, the leading interdisciplinary research and venturing organization in Belgium; and Sven H. De Cleyn, Incubation Programs manager at iMinds
- Spain, Barcelona: Josep M. Piqué, president of the European Division of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation and CEO of the Office of Economic Growth, Barcelona City Council, Spain; and Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway, leader of ‘GRC Creativity, Innovation and Urban Transformation’ at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Barcelona
- United Kingdom, London: Itxaso del-Palacio, teaching fellow in Entrepreneurship at University College London and Investment Analyst at EC1 Capital; and Dave Chapman, deputy head of the Department of Management Science and Innovation, University College London, UK
- Israel: Orna Berry, corporate vice president of Growth and Innovation, EMC Centers of Excellence EMEA and the U.S. and the former chief scientist of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Israeli government; and Daniel Wasserteil, former senior economics consultant at E.G.P. Applied Economics Ltd., the leading Israeli consultancy in the field of research and development policy
- Japan: Shigeo Kagami, professor and general manager of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Division of University Corporate Relations at the University of Tokyo, Japan
- Taiwan: Chao-Tung Wen, professor at the Graduate Institute of Technology and Innovation Management, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan; and Jun-Ming Chen, doctoral candidate at ChengChi University and former product manager at Advantech Co. Ltd.
- China: Virginia Trigo, professor of Entrepreneurship and director of China Programs at ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal; and Qin Lang, chairman of Henan Excellent Highway Engineering Company Ltd.
- Colombia and Mexico: Carlos Scheel, professor emeritus and former director of the Graduate School of Digital Technologies at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and EGADE Business School, Monterrey, Mexico
- Brazil: Flavio Feferman, faculty member at the Haas School of Business and president of Developing Markets Group, which specializes in international economic development projects, focusing primarily on Latin America and Brazil
- Intel Corporation: Manav Subodh, global manager of Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Intel Corporate Affairs Group, Bangalore, India
- National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA): Phil Weilerstein, executive director of NCIIA and co-director of the Engineering Pathways to Innovation Center, an NSF-supported center run jointly with Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program
The book is designed for entrepreneurs, policy makers interested in fostering regional development and innovation clusters, administrators of accelerators and incubators, corporate executives, university administrators, and government officials. Students and professors of economics, business, public policy, management, entrepreneurship, and innovation will also find it an insightful guide.