The aim of this project is to understand the role of strategic or deliberate state action in influencing the demand conditions for new regional path creation. The deliberate creation of markets is a relatively less explored dimension of path creation, both conceptually and in the practical design of regional policies and smart specialisation strategies. The project aims to address this gap by advancing the conceptualisation of market creation in regional branching processes and gathering evidence of past or on-going examples of deliberate demand-driven initiatives. The research will identify instances of deliberate path creation where public demand has played a key role. The focus will be on the role of public sector actors, intermediaries and other institutional entrepreneurs with system-level agency to support industrial paths. The main findings of this work are intended to inform the current debate on the role of the state in evolutionary economic geography as well as policy agendas around industrial policy and smart specialisation.
The purpose is to understand and explain the UK geography of support for innovators in BAME and disabled groups. It will map the provision of support for under-represented and under-utilised the groups of business innovators recognising their intersectionality. The project is a follow-up to the eight month Innovate UK commissioned project (Jan 2019-August 2019) which aimed to understand barriers and opportunities for innovation for a diverse range of people.
The study will address three research questions. These are first, what are the national and regional institutional contexts in which support organisations for BAME and disabled innovators operate and to what extent do they affect their ability to function? The second is, how does UK business innovation support compare with that in other countries such as the USA? And third, in what ways could public policy initiatives be improved to help such organisations in delivering support for business innovation?
Fully utilising BAME and disabled innovators is currently high on the political agenda and the work will impact government support agencies by informing decision-making on the kinds of policies needed to improve the provision, design, demand and effectiveness of innovation support for these two groups. The project is novel in that it will add new knowledge and understanding about diversity and inclusion of innovation in a regional context. It will map the provision by type of institution so that the major actors, their stakeholders and kinds of provision and possible actions are identified. Interviews with support organisations will determine what is available to which kinds of clients’ profile (e.g. sector, age and gender) and where there are opportunities and gaps in support. Examples of best practice will be provided in the UK resulting from this research. By drawing on research in other countries notably the USA, it will provide a comparative perspective on capacity building in different contexts.