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Led by the University of Edinburgh Business School, this programme of activities has been shaped by groups of academics, both in the UK and Japan, who share expertise in local and regional development with strong policy connections in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Supported through the Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), a series of international workshops will be organised during 2019.

Internationally, the ecosystem concept is used as a tool by policymakers to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across city-regions. By building a partnership between the research and policy communities in the two countries, the researchers aim to critically examine and further develop the concept of “entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems” by engaging with policy user communities.

The UK academic team consists of members from Universities of Aston, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Sheffield, bringing experiences from a diverse range of city-region and regional perspectives. Dr Fumi Kitagawa and Dr Ben Spigel at the University of Edinburgh will build on their collaborative relationship with partners in the UK, and Japan, and engage with policy and business communities cross-nationally.

The partnership will also include institutional collaborations with the Japan Local Government Centre (JLGC) in London, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), who as knowledge partners will jointly add value through dissemination and engaging networks of practice.

Our broad aim is to develop the capacity of local policymakers to build entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems by focusing on possible scenarios and options for place-based innovation and entrepreneurial policies. Three key audiences will be targeted:

  1. Policymakers and practitioners—working with local policymakers and practitioners, we will identify the nature of diverse place-based entrepreneurial and innovation policies and appropriate methodologies for their evaluation
  2. Those particularly interested in fostering support infrastructures surrounding the ecosystems—we engage with business support organisations (e.g. incubators, accelerators, SME business advisors) to identify factors for entrepreneurial growth in specific places given different national contexts and socio-economic environments
  3. Those interested in the theory and practices of ecosystem concepts—we critically evaluate the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems as a conceptual and policy framework to be adapted in different national contexts.

The first workshop will be held at the University of Glasgow on 7 May 2019. We will focus on issues of measurement and metrics—how can we measure entrepreneurial ecosystems and what challenges do we need to overcome?

For further details, please contact Dr Fumi Kitagawa.

Email Dr Kitagawa