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The new economic geography of old industrial regions: Universities as global-local pipelines

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Benneworth


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The knowledge economy appears to be problematic for old industrial regions, as lock-in and restructuring remove assets for innovation from their territories, as well as for the kinds of policy which can stimulate their economies. In this paper we explore whether universities can provide points of stability within which such locked-in regions can strengthen their innovation systems and attract external investment in knowledge capital. Using the case study of Twente in the eastern Netherlands, we explore whether universities can strengthen their regional innovation systems. We distinguish local networking from external-investment attraction to show that universities can become temporary venues for 'local buzz', building networks which become attractive to outside investors and promoting regional innovation. This suggests that an alternative approach to regional innovation policy, which we term 'promoting smart hybridity, may be useful in stimulating growth-based restructuring in such regions. © 2007 a Pion publication printed in Great Britain.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Benneworth P, Hospers G-J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

Year: 2007

Volume: 25

Issue: 6

Pages: 779-802

Print publication date: 01/12/2007

ISSN (print): 0263-774X

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/c0620


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