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Path dependence, territorial innovation systems and the absorptive capacities of English city regions

Andrew Chadwick, Prof James Simmie, Drs Juliet Carpenter and Ellie Jupp of OISD
Andrew Chadwick, Prof James Simmie, Drs Juliet Carpenter and Ellie Jupp of OISD

April 2007

Prof James Simmie, Drs Juliet Carpenter, Ellie Jupp and Andrew Chadwick, OISD, and Prof Ron Martin, Cambridge University have just won a new research project funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). Total funding is £125,000 over 2007-2008. The topic is:

“Path dependence, territorial innovation systems and the absorptive capacities of English city regions”

Prof Ron Martin, Cambridge University
Prof Ron Martin, Cambridge University

The theoretical starting point that informs this research is that the evolution of spatial economies is path dependent over considerable periods of time. As a result of the different pathways taken by different spatial economies the economic performance of UK regions and the major cities located in them have been diverging rather than converging over considerable periods of time.

We propose to test the hypothesis that one of the key reasons for this finding is that the path dependence of city regional economies rests on the different absorptive capacities, defined as their “ability to identify, assimilate and exploit knowledge from external sources”, of their distinctive local territorial innovation systems.

This research is closely linked with the emerging UK city regions and innovation policy agenda. It will lead to suggestions for actionable policy principles for those branches of government concerned with urban and regional innovation policy.

Information:

Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development

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