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The Managerial Equation and Innovation Platforms: The Case of Linköping and Berzelius Science Park

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This paper explores the political and economic origins of a science park in Linköping, Sweden. It shows how different "innovation platforms" emerged to develop the medical industrial sector. An innovation platform is a foundation for growth corresponding to a given set of organizations or networks that incubate and sustain innovative teams tied to a given sector. Large firms and incubator-linked science parks represent different kinds of innovative platforms. The paper centres on the concept of the "managerial equation", arguing that growth projects like science parks build on coalitions and networks linking innovative resources, acquired knowledge tied to a given sector and power linked to decision-making power and financial resources. Changes within these elements of the equation explain the rise and fall of innovative platforms. Failures in learning in one platform lead to the rise of another. An absence of power (such as supporting resources) can also account for platform changes. Regional development decisions do not simply reflect path dependent specializations as regions use related capacities to break into "new" sectors. Commitments to Triple Helix formations linking universities, corporations and the government reflect changes within each branch of the Helix and political decision-making creating a diversity of development pathways.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economic History, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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