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Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship - Research relevant to several SDGs

Maureen McKelvey, professor, and Ethan Gifford, PhD, at the Institute of innovation and Entrepreneurship have written an article about Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship and Smart specialization strategy, including conceptualizing strategies for sustainability. The research is relevant to Goals 8 (economic growth), 9 (innovation), 12 (responsible consumption/production), and 14 (life below water), but with a focus on innovation.

The study explores how SDG Goal 9 [innovation] can be reached through policy for sustainability. In recent years, the EU has become more and more ‘mission-oriented’ in its policy strategy towards innovation and entrepreneurship. This means that rather than relying on the underlying mechanisms of markets and firms to sort out the success and failure of new products and services, policy makers have taken a more active stance in strategically creating conditions in which regions and their firms can thrive. Smart specialization strategy (S3) is one particular brand of mission-oriented policy focusing on revitalizing competitive and comparative advantage of regions. While this has worked well for some regions, other regions have struggled.

Their conceptual work expands on the idea of smart specialization by incorporating perspectives on knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, its drivers, its practitioners, and its potential to generate innovations at the forefront of sustainable development in a region.

- We have delved into the concept of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial ecosystem for policy on smart specialization. We make recommendations to increase its effectiveness as a policy instrument by incorporating a knowledge intensive perspective, says Maureen McKelvey.

Empirically, Maureen McKelvey and Ethan Gifford discuss developments in the Swedish region Västra Götaland’s maritime cluster. They view this as a case of a collective action driven knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial ecosystem, with different actors and incentives collectively driving forward both public and private returns while at the same time moving closer to achieving sustainable development goals.

Link to article: Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship and S3: Conceptualizing Strategies for Sustainability