Innovative Regions in Creative and Clustered Space
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Progressing processes of globalization, internationalization and the turbulences caused by world financial crisis result the growth of interest of regional problems. Some regions are becoming more reliant on interregional flows of trade, labour and resources. Interactions among regions are experiencing rapid changes as a result of dramatic shifts in production and consumption patterns, advances in information and communication technologies and creation of clustered structures. These changes pose many challenges for the analysis and management of regions. New spatial interactions at new scales demand new approaches for consultation and coordination. The purpose of the research is an attempt to identify and pinpoint cores of complexity of functioning’s process of innovative region in creative and clustered space which is a consequence of paradigms’ evolution of social and economic development and increasing role of holistic and network paradigm. Multitude of problems related to these issues constitutes assumption for systematic studies and analyses devoted development of territorial units level NUTS 2. Additionally, the changes taking place in the structure of modern economic region are determined by dynamic development of networks and growth of innovativeness. Authors present results of analysis related to innovative capacity of 310 regions (level NUTS 2) in Europe. There are 268 UE regions, 1 Icelandic region, 7 Norwegian regions, 7 Swiss regions, 1 Macedonian region and 26 Turkish regions examined in the paper. Analysis includes 8 variables in 2008-2012. Afterwards, using benchmarking method, a few regions are chosen and taken into consideration within diversity approach. Chosen benchmarks, which achieved high values of accepted variables are analyzed in terms of creativity and clustering processes. Authors would like to show if there are connections among high innovative capacity of European regions and development of creative industries and clusters (especially eco-innovative clusters) in these regions. As a consequence of the undertaken considerations stimulants of functioning modern territories as resilient communities will be described. Diverse social and economic structure of region favours less sensitivity to external shocks. Building resilient regions is seen as particularly important in the wake of the global economic crisis as a new source of economic growth. On the other hand it is important to indicate these factors and/or tendencies which create competitive structure of region in the contemporary multidimensional space. Description of the role of innovations, creativity and clusters in modern regional economy is one of the key assumptions of the paper. Current mechanisms of social and economic development of space which determinants are technological progress, evolution of informative society and globalization of economy make new conditions of operation for territorial units, particularly for regions. Spatial concentration follows related to benefits of creative industries and clustered milieus but on the other hand connected with expansion of innovative networks in world-wide. These connections usually are based on knowledge, information and new technologies. Nonetheless, in the face of contemporary challenges, regional development is based not only on human and/or creative capital but also on social capital where trust is one of the most important elements. That’s why in the end of elaboration, taking into consideration all results of conducted analyzes, authors suggest possible directions of operations in management of innovative regions in Europe. Authors hope, that by concentration on the essence of new problems, dynamically changing challenges of functioning of regional structures in creative and clustered space, will propose interesting reading of cognitive and theoretical character with empirical examples of effective creation and implementation of actions as regards new situation of economic region on the threshold of the second decade of the 21st century.
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