ABSTRACT

The connection between technological and economic development is today widely acknowledged. In many regions, the importance of this link has been underscored by its determining role over the past 15 years in structural and technological change. A new configuration of economic interactions has thus been emerging (Aydalot, 1986; Castells, 1985). Today’s new and highly innovative centres of economic activity are firmly stamped with the seal of new technologies, particularly those in the high-technology category (Route 128, Silicon Valley, etc.). These new vanguard industries, including electronics, telecommunications, industrial materials, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, fibre optics and robotics, have spearheaded the majority of current process and product innovations. They have also triggered a resurgence of interest in the entrepreneurial spirit (Lambooy, 1984; Martin, 1986; Maillat, Schoepfer and Voillat, 1984; Dieperinck and Nijkamp, 1985). Their timely emergence is likely greatly to facilitate and stimulate the remodelling of the production systems of industrial regions. The following study constitutes an analysis of the conditions required for this.