Working Regions focuses on policy aimed at building sustainable and resilient regional economies in the wake of the global recession. Using examples of four ‘working regions’ — regions where research and design functions and manufacturing still coexist in the same cities — the book argues for a new approach to regional economic development. It does this by highlighting policies that foster innovation and manufacturing in small firms, focus research centers on pushing innovation down the supply chain, and support dynamic, design-driven firm networks.

This book traces several key themes underlying the core proposition that for a region to work, it has to link research and manufacturing activities — namely, innovation and production — in the same place. Among the topics discussed in this volume are the issues of how the location of research and development infrastructure produces a clear role of the state in innovation and production systems, and how policy emphasis on pre-production processes in the 1990s has obscured the financialization of intellectual property. Throughout the book, the author draws on examples from diverse industries, including the medical devices industry and the US photonics industry, in order to illustrate the different themes of working regions and the various institutional models operating in various countries and regions.

chapter |16 pages

Working regions

Regeneration by design

chapter |25 pages

The rise of the research center

The nexus between national innovation policies and regional development

chapter |22 pages

The trade in innovation

The evolution of intellectual property markets

chapter |31 pages

Hidden in plain sight

The North American optics and photonics industry

chapter |47 pages

Working regions in practice

Apparel and outdoor equipment and medical devices industries

chapter |15 pages

Flexible specialization 2.0

The design + build approach to working regions