The origins of this book lie in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) research programme on ‘Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion’. For some years prior to this programme, most of the authors had been working together in various contexts. The focus of much of this work was on international comparisons of innovation and attempts to encourage high-technology industries to continue or develop in particular places. Considerable amounts of information had been built up, over the years, particularly with respect to those city regions in which the universities of the researchers were located. The new ESRC programme provided an opportunity to develop a more systematic analysis of this rich collection of local insights and to conduct some original empirical research, based on the ideas developed in this exercise.