Cover of Public Universities and Regional Growth by Edited by Martin Kenney and David C. Mowery
Public Universities and Regional Growth
Insights from the University of California
Edited by Martin Kenney and David C. Mowery

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June 2014
272 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804790673
Paper ISBN: 9780804791359
Digital ISBN: 9780804791427
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Public Universities and Regional Growth examines evolutions in research and innovation at six University of California campuses. Each chapter presents a deep, historical analysis that traces the dynamic interaction between particular campuses and regional firms in industries that range from biotechnology, scientific instruments, and semiconductors, to software, wine, and wireless technologies.

The book provides a uniquely comprehensive and cohesive look at the University of California's complex relationships with regional entrepreneurs. As a leading public institution, the UC is an examplar for other institutions of higher education at a time when the potential and value of these universities is under scrutiny. Any yet, by recent accounts, public research universities performed nearly 70% of all academic research and approximately 60% of federally funded R&D in the United States. Thoughtful and distinctive, Public Universities and Regional Growth illustrates the potential for universities to drive knowledge-based growth while revealing the California system as a uniquely powerful engine for innovation across its home state.

About the author

Martin Kenney is Professor of Community and Regional Development at the University of California at Davis and Senior Project Director at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy. He is the Editor of the Stanford University Press Innovation and Technology in the World Economy series.

David C. Mowery is William A. & Betty H. Hasler Professor Emeritus of New Enterprise Development at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He is co-author of Ivory Tower and Industrial Innovation.

"In sum, the pattern of university–industry interaction depicted in these case studies underscores the diverse and complex channels through which research flows between the two, with the university research community frequently benefiting from key innovations and research funding provided by geographic clusters of local industry . . . Collectively, these chapters caution against relying on static causal theories and explanations of the pattern of university–industry interaction and underline the importance of temporal sequencing and geographic specificity for the way individual campuses in the UC system contributed to the development of regional economic clusters across the state. In so doing, they provide an evolutionary geographic perspective on processes of economic development that is frequently absent from studies of university–industry relations."

—David Wolfe, Economic Georgraphy

"Through a series of scholarly studies, Kenney and Mowery present an introspective and in-depth study detailing the unique, symbiotic relationship between research and innovation on the California campuses and regional entrepreneurs and global industries. From agricultural developments to wireless technologies, this volume traces the evolutionary dynamism that characterizes the success of the California system in creating and encouraging a unique academic environment—one in which the potential for innovation, both statewide and global, has become an intrinsic part of the campuses' research culture. Each of the book's brief chapters examines one of the system's campuses, detailing comprehensively the historical development and contemporary impact of their transformation into institutions of applied research and powerful technological innovators. For academic researchers and business leaders, this distinctive study is not only an important review of one of America's leading public university systems, but also an excellent example of the ways in which unaffiliated institutions can enhance the value of research initiatives and create their own academic-industry partnerships . . . Highly recommended."

—S. R. Kahn, CHOICE

"There are many myths about the role modern research universities play in industrial innovation. This is the most detailed and informative study on this subject to date. It illuminates the complex reality at work and is a must-read for anyone interested in this topic."

—Richard R. Nelson, Director, Columbia Earth Institute Program on Science, Technology, and Global Development

"Very few scholars understand the commercial application of university science as well as Martin Kenney and David Mowery; they were among the first to analyze how critical technology transfer is for economic growth. To have these leaders of the field team up to edit a sterling collection of studies of university-industry relations in the University of California system is not only an intellectual treat, it is also a valuable service for those who want to manage the process more effectively."

—Walter W. Powell, Stanford University