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Spaces of Innovation: learning, proximity and the ecological turn

Author

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  • Adrian Healy

    ()

  • Kevin Morgan

    ()

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Healy & Kevin Morgan, 2009. "Spaces of Innovation: learning, proximity and the ecological turn," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0918, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0918
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0918.pdf
    File Function: Version November 2009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning; regions; innovation; proximities;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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