Monday, April 07, 2008

Geographically Contingent Innovation

Similar to Richard Herman's Rust Belt High-Skilled Immigration Zone idea and Vivek Wadhwa's suggestion to focus on talent that helps to create jobs, here is a policy approach that combines both Herman and Wadhwa:

Much of the debate these days seems to be whether or not the government should either support local entrepreneurship or attract industry (the battle is crazily couched in either/or terms). I have been pondering lately a hybrid. How to attract entrepreneurs.

This is not that crazy. Iowa and several other states have VC funds that start ups can access, providing they locate in the state.

This is an interesting variation on that theme ...

The "interesting variation" is Scotland's global competition to develop green energy technologies, with one catch:

The Saltire Prize is a £10 million award (US$20 million) designed to galvanise world scientists to push the frontiers of innovation in the crucial area of clean, green energy. Entrants for the prize will demonstrate their innovations in Scotland.

Noting that Scotland is a world leader in alternative energy, Mr Salmond said that the Saltire Prize will put Scotland at the very heart of the battle against climate change and will promote collaboration and partnerships with scientists in Scotland and across the world. In turn, it will deliver clear economic benefits at home as well as pushing forward the boundaries of research with a world-wide impact and benefit.

The contest looks like an extension of the Globalscot project, which networks Scottish human capital all around the world. Now there is a political geography in tune with Generation Nomad.

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