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Spaces of Innovation: Learning, Proximity and the Ecological Turn


  • Adrian Healy
  • Kevin Morgan


Healy A. and Morgan K. Spaces of innovation: learning, proximity and the ecological turn, Regional Studies . 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. This article explores the changing socio-spatial dynamics of innovation through the medium of three arguments: (1) that the ‘Learning Region’ debate was worth having because it triggered a fruitful dialogue between innovation theorists and economic geographers; (2) that geographical proximity remains a powerful explanatory concept; and (3) that ‘the ecological turn’ challenges conventional conceptions of learning, innovation and development. Healy A. and Morgan K. 创新空间:学习、邻近性与生态转向,区域研究。与盛行的「距离消失」理论相反, 创新的社会空间脉络对公司、网络以及公共机构而言仍至关重要,却经常在主流的学 习论述中受到忽略。本文透过以下三大主张探讨转变中的创新的社会空间动态:(1)「学习区域」仍有辩论之必要,因其触发创新理论者与经济地理学者间丰硕的对话; (2)地理邻近性仍为具有高度解释力的概念;( 3)「生态转向」挑战了 固有的学习、创新与发展之概念。 学习 区域 创新 邻近性 Healy A. et Morgan K. Des espaces d'innovation: l'apprentissage, la proximité et le virage écologique, Regional Studies . Contrairement à la thèse en vogue appellée ‘la mort de la distance’, le contexte socio-géographique de l'innovation reste toujours aussi important pour les entreprises, les réseaux et les institutions publiques dont on a tendance à ne pas tenir compte dans les récits d'apprentissage orthodoxes. Cet article cherche à examiner la dynamique socio-géographique changeante de l'innovation par l'intermédiaire des affirmations suivantes: (1) le débat sur la ‘région d'apprentissage’ valait la peine parce qu'elle a déclenché un dialogue fructueux entre les théoriciens d'innovation et les géographes économiques; (2) la proximité géographique reste une notion explicative puissante; et (3) ‘le virage écologique’ remet en question les notions conventionnelles d'apprentissage, d'innovation et de développement. Apprentissage Régions Innovation Proximités Healy A. und Morgan K. Räume der Innovation: Lernen, Nähe und die ökologische Wende, Regional Studies . Ungeachtet der in Mode gekommenen These vom ‘Tod der Distanz’ hat der sozialräumliche Kontext der Innovation für Firmen, Netzwerke und öffentliche Einrichtungen -- die in den orthodoxen Darstellungen des Lernens oft vernachlässigt werden -- nichts von seiner Bedeutung verloren. In diesem Artikel wird die veränderliche sozialräumliche Dynamik der Innovation anhand von drei Argumenten untersucht: (1) dem Argument, dass die Debatte über die ‘Lernregion’ lohnend war, weil sie einen fruchtbaren Dialog zwischen Innovationstheoretikern und Wirtschaftsgeografen auslöste, (2) dem Argument, dass die geografische Nähe nach wie vor ein wichtiges erläuterndes Konzept darstellt, und (3) dem Argument, dass die ‘ökologische Wende’ die herkömmlichen Auffassungen von Lernen, Innovation und Entwicklung in Frage stellt. Lernen Regionen Innovation Nähe Healy A. y Morgan K. Espacios de la innovación: aprendizaje, proximidad y el giro ecológico, Regional Studies . A pesar de la moderna tesis de la ‘muerte de la distancia’, el contexto socioespacial para la innovación sigue siendo igual de importante para las empresas, las redes y las instituciones públicas que tienden a ignorarse en los relatos ortodoxos del aprendizaje. En este artículo analizamos las dinámicas socioespaciales cambiantes de la innovación a partir de tres argumentos: (1) el argumento de que el debate sobre la ‘región del aprendizaje’ merecía la pena porque generaba un diálogo fructífero entre los teóricos de la innovación y los geógrafos económicos; (2) el argumento de que la proximidad geográfica sigue siendo un sólido concepto explicativo; y (3) el argumento de que el ‘giro ecológico’ cuestiona los conceptos convencionales del aprendizaje, la innovación y el desarrollo. Aprendizaje Regiones Innovación Proximidades

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Healy & Kevin Morgan, 2012. "Spaces of Innovation: Learning, Proximity and the Ecological Turn," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(8), pages 1041-1053, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:46:y:2012:i:8:p:1041-1053
    DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2012.672725

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    Cited by:

    1. Kinnear, Susan & Ogden, Ian, 2014. "Planning the innovation agenda for sustainable development in resource regions: A central Queensland case study," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 42-53.
    2. Maureen McKelvey, 2016. "Firms navigating through innovation spaces: a conceptualization of how firms search and perceive technological, market and productive opportunities globally," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 785-802, October.
    3. Grillitsch, Markus & Nilsson, Magnus, 2015. "Firm Performance in the Periphery: On the Relation between Firm-Internal Knowledge and Local Knowledge Spillovers," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/40, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    4. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:129-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Iréne Bernhard, 2016. "Innovation focusing on regional development in a European context - towards a new research agenda," International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19.
    6. Grillitsch, Markus & Nilsson, Magnus, 2017. "Knowledge externalities and firm heterogeneity: Effects on high and low growth firms," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/6, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    7. Frank van der Wouden & David L. Rigby, 2017. "Co-inventor Networks and Knowledge Production in Specialized and Diversified Cities," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1715, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2017.

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