Wilson outlines what Innovation Clusters must do to foster economic growth

Dean Ernest J. Wilson III wrote an article for the Spring 2012 issue of strategy+business magazine about innovation clusters needing to draw on the power of an interrelated “quad” of sectors — public, private, civil and academic — to foster economic growth.

Dean Wilson referenced Washington Post columnist Vivek Wadhwa, who cited a study showing that most of the more than 1,600 Norwegian companies clustered in the five largest cities have failed.

“For the last 15 years, I have studied innovation clusters in more than a dozen countries,” Dean Wilson wrote. “My own research findings echo Wadhwa’s conclusion. Clusters can be vitally important to a country’s innovation and prosperity, but when they are misunderstood, they do not realize their potential. Most efforts to create clusters focus on one or two elements: the heroic innovators who champion their creation, the co-location of companies that lets engineers switch jobs by crossing the street, the business school spawning grounds with professors sympathetic to their students’ entrepreneurial ambitions, the startups with foosball tables in the conference rooms, or the provision of cash from an earnest government funder seeking to bypass bureaucratic roadblocks.” Read More »