Books & Blueprints
During the last decades manufacturing activities experienced rapid restructuring and change. Globalisation and new information and communication technologies have radically altered the production processes, reduced the share of manufacturing in GDP, and sustained the transfer of industries in the emerging economies of Asia. The book records these developments with respect to changes in manufacturing activities of metropolitan Thessaloniki over the period 1997-2009. It focuses on restructuring trends in the sectors of food and beverage, textile and clothing, construction materials, metal products, electrical machinery, chemicals and petroleum. It also examines the rise of ICT industries and the EU policies that sustain openness and innovation in manufacturing. Main conclusions of this extensive field research are (a) that the transformation of traditional industry in knowledge-intensive is characterized by a series of hybrid conditions, between decreasing and increasing returns, manufacturing and services, traditional and new products, material production and digital management, tacit and explicit knowledge, localization and globalisation, and (b) the transition to knowledge-intensive industry would be accelerated by the creation and operation of clusters in the respective traditional branches.
Download (22MB): Hybrid Innovation and the Future of Industry
Critical to the functioning of an incubator is the provision of management guidance, technical assistance and consulting tailored to young growing companies. Incubators usually also provide clients access to appropriate rental space and flexible leases, shared basic business services and equipment, technology support services and assistance in obtaining the financing necessary for company growth. The incubator support digital platform that was developed during the MEDICUBE project targeted to facilitate the incubators to achieve their goals. The platform is mainly web based and its users are both the incubators and their tenants. It includes four on-line tools that each incubator can adopt, install and customise: (1) Technology and market watch; (2) New product development; (3) Innovation marketing; and (4) Incubation management.
Download: Medicube Blueprint: medi-cube_eng
This Special Issue International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development contains papers that outline parallel aspects and phenomena shaping simultaneously intelligent cities. Among the topics discussed are: (1) The globalisation of innovation ecosystems and new relationships between innovation and its environment, as knowledge resources from around the globe combine together and new innovation environments and institutions take shape. (2) Living labs and innovation hubs that continue and progress the theory of innovative milieu and innovation clustering in the era of global digital interaction and involvement of end customers in new product design, development, and testing. (3) The rise of collaborative knowledge networks and virtual communities sustaining innovation capabilities and the innovation performance of organisations. (4) E-governance and changing city management towards more democratic and participative forms enabled by online communication and interactive community services. (5) The digital city and digital citizenship, myths and ideas accompanying these concepts, and challenges of institutionalised digital cities. (6) Ubiquitous communities; pervasive and intelligent environments enabling new forms of interactions and transactions that become available anywhere at anytime.
This book is about the environment of innovation that is formed within cities and regions. However, it approaches the subject via a substitution. The central premise is that (a) a theory of innovation is not feasible, since its prevision capacity would annihilate innovation itself, and (b) the quest for a theory of innovation can be replaced by the quest for understanding the environment for generating innovation. The substitution consequently lies in the assumption that we cannot predict the emergence of innovation and consequently manage it, but we can create environments within which innovation is generated; in other words that we can manage the environment rather than innovation itself. The more radical and disruptive innovation is, the more this substitution is necessary. This is the central idea behind Intelligent Cities and Globalisation of Innovation Networks. The objective is about innovation, but the means which permit us to reach it are intelligent cities and other forms of intelligent environments sustaining the processes of innovation, which are now global.
In our age of information and knowledge-based development, learning from others is a fundamental way of improving the know-how and competences of organisations, clusters, and regions. This is exactly what Benchmarking is about: to compare the performance of an organisation with other organisations and learn from the best.The Blueprint on Regional Innovation Benchmarking shows how to use benchmarking techniques to improve the innovation performance of regions or other geographical entities. Benchmarking is understood as an improvement process in which a company, organisation or any other (multi-organisational) system carries out three processes: 1) compares its performance against best-in-class systems; 2) determines how these systems have achieved their superior performance; and 3) uses the collected information to improve its own performance.
The blueprint explores and seeks to understand the extent to which strategic intelligence tools (knowledge management, benchmarking, foresight) are able to support the creation of innovating clusters:
-by enabling firms in a region belonging to the same productive system and business context to forsee the changes in markets and technologies which may affect them,
-by improving their competitiveness through innovation, and
-by designing governance systems capable of fostering collaborative strategies and implementing appropriate business development tools.
Download: The Blueprint is available in four languages: Strategic Intelligence and Innovative Clusters. Intelligence Strategique et Clusters. Strategische Intelligenz und Clusters. Inteligencia Estrategica y Clusters.
Komninos, N., (2002) Intelligent Cities: Innovation, knowledge systems and digital spaces, London and New York: Taylor and Francis, Spon Press.
At the turn of the century some cities and regions in Europe, Japan and the U.S. displayed an exceptional capacity to incubate and develop new knowledge and innovations. The favourable environment for research in these areas was not immediately obvious, yet it was of great significance for a development based on knowledge, learning, and innovation. Intelligent Cities focuses on these environments of innovation, and the major models (technopoles, innovating regions, intelligent cities) for creating an environment supporting technology, innovation, learning and knowledge – based development.
The introduction of the first chapter deals with innovation as an environmental condition, including the geography and typology of islands of innovation. The next three parts focus on the theoretical paradigms and the planning models of the “industrial district”, the “innovating region” and the “intelligent city”, which offer three alternative ways to create an environment of innovation.
The book presents the most significant innovation development technologies and methods focusing on techniques which enable the transformation of knowledge into new products. Innovation development technologies are classified in four parts, depending on their application in a specific area of the innovation cycle: (1) methodologies for the organisation of research and development (technology watch and business intelligence, creativity, marketing of innovation, Innovation financing, project management); (2) methods for technology transfer (benchmarking, innovation audit, technology clinics, technology evaluation, management of intellectual property rights); (3) technologies for new product development (new product development, design automation, business process re-engineering, material requirements planning, employee involvement, human resource management, value analysis); and (4) techniques for the optimisation of networking and technological co-operation (supply chain management, e-commerce). The papers included have been prepared in the framework of the InnoRegio project, under the Programme RECITE II for the co-operation of EU cities and regions.
Komninos, N., (1998) Technopolis and Development Strategies in Europe, Athens: Gutenberg.
Technopolis and Development Strategies in Europe discusses the creation of new urban spaces (technopoles, technology districts, clusters and technology networks, science and technology parks) which grow with respect to R&D, new technologies, and production flexibility.
Part I focuses on large scale urban projects for technological development in Torino, Ile-de-France, Montpelier, Cambridge and Sophia Antipolis; part II on science and technology parks throughout Europe and the mechanisms of technology transfer; part III on urban regeneration programmes making inner city areas attractive to knowledge workers and high tech companies and encouraging new tertiary activities (producer services, media, multinational headquarters, etc.) to locate in particular cities; and part IV on system-areas and technology districts, which create networks of interdependent small firms allowing costs and risks to be spread out and production to be rapidly adjusted to market requirements. The last part examines the transferability of technopolitan strategies in less favoured regions of Europe and the obstacles created by established economic and cultural practices.
Sefertzi, E., (ed.) (1998), Innovation: System-areas, technology transfer, and innovative development in Greece, Athens: Gutenberg.
International competition, the changing conditions of production systems and consumer habits and behaviour, make innovation a significant factor for development in Europe. The creation of favourable environment for innovation support has become a necessity. This environment is strongly depended on local institutions, business collaboration, and systems supporting information, communication and training.
The book examines the technological structure of Greek industries and the policy that affects the formation of innovation environments in Greece. It contains four parts: (1) Innovation and development in the Greek regions, (2) Innovation in selected sectors of the industry in Greece (textile and clothing, food, pharmaceutical, and ICT), (3) Innovation policy and development in Greece.
Komninos, N., (1998) The Innovative Region: The Regional Technology Plan of Central Macedonia, Athens: Gutenberg.
The Innovative Region is a strategy designed in the framework of the European Policy and the Innovation Programme in order to sustain the development of European regions through the improvement of their R&D and technological capabilities. The strategy is linked to the Regional Technology Plan (RTP), the Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer (RITTS), and the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS). The Central Macedonia Regional Technology Plan is a pilot project aiming at the investigation of the procedures, the method and the implementation problems of this strategy. It focuses on the upgrading of the regional innovation system, which is responsible for the production, transfer and diffusion of technological knowledge.
The book discusses the formulation of regional innovation strategy in Central Macedonia: it includes the analysis of the regional innovation system, the elaboration of priorities of innovation support, the definition of the action plan, and the implementation of the individual projects. The methods which were employed and the problems encountered may be useful in the extension of this strategy to European Regions.
Komninos, N., (1986) Theory of Urbanity, Crisis, Metropolitan Restructuring and New Urban Planning (Vol.1), Urban Planning and Social Regulation (Vol.2), Urban Design and Construction of the City (Vol.3), Athens: Synchrona Themata.
These three books provide a comprehensive account of contemporary processes shaping urban development, planning and design. Cities are part of the major contemporary social projects leading towards a knowledge-based society, which is taking shape by (1) the reorganisation of production in terms of flexibility and innovation, (2) the supra-national institutional regulation, and (3) the new state of knowledge and post-modernist cultural values. Cities are affected by industrial decline, the restructuring of the productive system, de-concentration of the urban population, a growing unevenness in income and the social polarisation of housing provision, and finally, the degradation of social equipment and urban infrastructure.
However, urban restructuring has also given birth to new landscapes, decentralised planning, and post-modern design. These developments led us to understand that cities are not only the effect of the new up and coming social projects; they are also fields of experimentation and creativity, where these same social projects are co-formed and further elaborated.