"Universities, Innovation, and the Competitiveness of local Economies
Professor Richard Lester
Director, Industrial Performance Centre, MIT
Thursday 28th September 2006
BS117, J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy
The dynamism of local economies depends upon the ability of local firms to adapt to changing markets and technologies by innovating successfully in products, services, and production processes. Not all local economies adapt with equal success. The outcome depends on the capabilities of local firms to take up new technological and market knowledge and to apply it effectively. Professor Lester will focus on the contributions made by local universities to those capabilities. His talk will draw on studies of innovation-enabled industrial change in 22 locations in 6 countries. These studies are being carried out in the Local Innovation Systems Project, an international research collaboration based at the Industrial Performance Centre at MIT. The locations include both high-tech and economically less-favoured regions. The sectors include both mature and new industries. Some of the locations are home to first-tier universities, some to second-tier universities, and some to no universities at all.