EURODITE in brief
The objective of the EURODITE project is to investigate regional trajectories to the knowledge economy by showing how knowledge is generated, developed and transferred within and among firms or organisations and their regional contexts. EURODITE is a multidisciplinary project inclu-ding researchers from economic geography, organisational theory, economics, management theory, business administration, sociology and other disciplines. This means that from a theoreti¬cal and conceptual point of view, the project draws from a multitude of academic disciplines and sources.
In the EURODITE project and in this report, knowledge is understood as a process where certain organisational competences are used to acquire new, economically useful knowledge. Knowledge dynamics is a key concept in the project. Knowledge dynamics are interactions of indi¬vidual actors or groups of actors that learn, search for, or diffuse new knowledge, and apply old and new knowledge in the economy. This includes many activities like: employment of knowledge workers; education; training; consulting; in- and out-sourcing. A result of knowledge dynamics may be an innovation in, for instance, a new or improved product (good or service), organisation or pro-cess
In the empirical case studies of EURODITE, research into knowledge dynamics has been conducted. The empirical case studies are based on the following building blocks: regions, sec¬tors, territorial knowledge dynamics and firm-level knowledge dynamics. Better understanding of the way that knowledge is developed within various sectors and types of businesses, how it is transferred, and the role of regional contexts, such as public actors, higher education institutions and networks of firms suggest ways that policies may be developed and used to facilitate knowl¬edge dynamics. This in turn can contribute to increased regional competitiveness.
In EURODITE 22 regions in 13 countries have been studied. The reason for starting from a region is that the regional level has been considered crucial in the development of a more com¬petitive Europe. However, in EURODITE it is assumed that knowledge dynamics are not restricted to bounded territories such as administrative regions. Instead, the assumption is that knowledge interactions stretch across administrative borders. Nonetheless, the regional context appears to play a role in knowledge interactions, for instance, in discussion of policies, thus regions are the starting point for the empirical case studies.
Seven strategic sectors formed the basis for the selection of empirical case studies in
• New media
• Food and drink
• Information and communication technologies (ICT)
• Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS)
The sectors include high-, medium- and low-tech companies. An assumption here was that the sectors would represent different kinds of knowledge dynamics in both goods and service produc¬tion. However, it is important to stress that the predefined sectors were only meant as a basis for the empirical case study, and we see that many innovations and knowledge interactions tend to occur across sectors.
This article is quoted from the report Knowledge dynamics, regional development and public policy Edited by Henrik Halkier, Margareta Dahlström, Laura James, Jesper Manniche & Lise Smed Olsen.
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