Rural Innovation - Crucial, But Rarely Systemic
Innovation is largely held to be unlikely in rural regions. This reflects the current emphasis on regional innovations systems that are driven by large expenditures on formal science based activity that results in patentable outcomes. From this metric the observation about rural innovation is largely true. However, a broader concept of innovation, which includes the actions of individual inventors/entrepreneurs opens the possibility of rural innovation. Not only do we see significant innovation in rural regions, some of these innovations have been globally disruptive and led to major changes in important industries. For rural regions innovation can be a key driver of productivity since the success of a single firm can play a major role in eh economic growth of the region. Fostering entrepreneurship provides a way for rural regions to also increase the level of innovation.
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