The regional significance of knowledge-intensive services in europe
This article reviews the work of the ‘Knowledge-intensive Services and Innovation' (KISINN) Network, which examined the regional incidence of ‘knowledge-intensive business services' (KIBS) across eight European countries in 1996/97. The paper examines how far KIBS growth has influenced regional policy thinking since 1997, especially in relation to innovation processes. There still seems to be little recognition at this scale that innovation is fundamentally a service-based process. KIBS growth is also generally regarded as economically marginal, rather than as a key component of the corporate-dominated nexus of expertise exchange which now drives regional economic inequality. More inter-sectoral, urban-based policies are required to counter these trends. The example of the recent English ‘Core City' initiative shows how such an approach to supporting regional knowledge economies might progress.