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Spaces of Innovation: learning, proximity and the ecological turn

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  • Adrian Healy

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  • Kevin Morgan

    ()

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    Abstract

    Contrary to the fashionable “death of distance” thesis, the socio-spatial context for innovation remains as important as ever for firms, networks and the public institutions that tend to be neglected in orthodox narratives of learning. In this article we explore the changing socio-spatial dynamics of innovation through the medium of three arguments: (i) that the “learning region” debate was worth having because it triggered a fruitful dialogue between innovation theorists and economic geographers; (ii) that geographical proximity remains central to our understanding of learning and innovation and should not be reduced to, or conflated with, physical co-location; and (iii) that “the ecological turn” challenges conventional conceptions of learning, innovation and development, posing unsettling questions about the forces of path dependency, especially in less favoured regions.

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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0918.pdf
    File Function: Version November 2009
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 0918.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2009
    Date of revision: Nov 2009
    Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0918

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    Keywords: Learning; regions; innovation; proximities;

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