The concept of the learning region is central to the way of problem-solving. Like 'lifelong learning' the term is used variously and carelessly. This book explores the meaning and importance of the learning region. Not all universities warm to such local-regional engagement. The unwise pride of global forces and nations undermines it; but even the most prestigious and 'global' university has a local footprint and ever-watchful neighbours. The book arises from the work of PASCAL, an international non-governmental network Observatory. Its name exploits echoes of philosophical depth as well as technical modernity of language, taking the concepts of Place, Social Capital and Learning together with the vital connecting conjunctions of And, to define its mission. At the heart of the story is PASCAL's experience of working with multiple regions and their universities on their experience with engagement. The book examines in turn several central strands mainly of policy but also of process that are illuminated by the PASCAL Universities and Regional Engagement (PURE) project. The PURE processes and outcomes, despite limitations and severe disruption by forces located outside the region and often too the nation, show the potential gain from international networking and shared activities. The book also discusses internal arrangements within the administration before turning to external relations: both with the university and tertiary sector and with other stakeholders in the private and third sectors. Regional innovation systems require entrepreneurialism inside government, higher education and training, as well as within industry from small and medium enterprises to multinationals.
the priority given to regional innovation systems thinking across OECD countries can be found in a series of reports produced in recent years (see for example Cooke 2001; Benneworth and Dassen 2011; and a series of OECD reviews from 2008–2012). While the research began during boom times, the key insights were presented in the heart of the economic and financial crisis (OECD 2009) and indicate the hopefulness which has been placed in regional-level action. OECD thinking about regions The focus on regional-level action reflects a change in focus from subsidies and
energy and resources of industry, commerce and its skilled workforce to achieve economic objectives. 143 MUP_Osborne_Final.indd 143 30/07/2013 15:50 learning and partnership processes Regional innovation systems (see Chapter 9) require entrepreneurialism inside government, higher education and training, as well as within industry from SMEs to multinationals. An administration working in non-collaborating silos cannot build partnerships and generate synergies outside. The same applies to nurturing broader social, health and welfare, recreational and cultural well
years, attention has focused on describing and understanding how such clusters – frequently termed regional innovation systems (RISs) – develop, operate, and promote innovation (Asheim and Gertler 2009 ). A core tenet of RIS research is that propinquity is a fundamental feature of innovation because so much of the information flow that underpins innovative behavior is tacit: that is, informal, not codified, and difficult to exchange over long distances. Moreover, RIS models posit that knowledge itself can be “sticky” – that is, geographically located – so that the
‘new sources of growth’ to ask whether it is time after four such years to look elsewhere – for enhanced well-being on a different ethical base. Innovation is a universally proclaimed value and necessity for national and regional prosperity. Much effort goes into seeking new sources of growth, constantly redesigning education and training systems and creating regional innovation systems, with economic and cultural frameworks supportive of innovation. New partnerships might now better channel these energies into finding new solutions. Regional development is taken to
in regions and in universities, to make engagement effective and sustain it. Engagement must be embedded in the culture and practice of institutions for continuity, as the leadership changes. 2. Partnership based in trust must be sustained between different stakeholders and made operational in practical ways. 3. This takes time but is the only way to get full returns on investment made in projects like PURE. 4. Regional Innovation Systems appear fundamental to the prosperity and well-being of regions. 5. Strong university governance requires good external
of individuals in this field to regional innovation systems. Universities can play an important role in providing knowledge and education for potential entrepreneurs in this area. A number of examples in which universities facilitate such activity in the creative industries emerged within PURE. For instance, a Creative Industries incubator at the University of Plymouth in Devon was supported by the RDA with funding from the European Regional Development Fund. In this model individuals were provided with work‐spaces and a virtual office package to support business
and applying new knowledge as well as teaching what is thought to be relevant and urgent. Regional innovation systems call for creative and innovative product design, process development and problem-solving. They require the 46 MUP_Osborne_Final.indd 46 30/07/2013 15:50 two key partners: (2) higher education application and use of new knowledge. The broader post-secondary college level of tertiary-higher education has if anything a still larger and more direct contribution to make to regional development in meeting the growing and changing human resource and