Political leaders and economic planners from Albuquerque to Zurich widely recognize that the future economic well-being of their respective regions depends to a significant extent upon the innovative capacity of the people and institutions they attract and retain. Effective policy formulation and program design require at minimum (1) accurate, current and comprehensible information regarding the characteristics of regional innovation systems over time, and (2) indicators that assist in understanding the potential complementarities of public policy and private incentives resulting in desired social outcomes. This project seeks to advance research along both of these dimensions. Specifically, the paper proposes a method for identifying regions with emergent technological capabilities. The method builds upon work by CHI Research that uses patent data to identify nascent technological domains. We present maps of regional innovative capacity constructed from a method that is (1) applied consistently across different spatial scales of analysis, and (2) based on an underlying model of the process of technology development. We identify economic, cultural, and policy determinants of regional innovative capacity and technology entrepreneurship.
by Philip E Auerswald, School of Public Policy, George Mason University, VA, USA