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By Nicos Komninos

Intelligent towns and Globalisation of Innovation Networks combines recommendations and theories from the fields of city improvement and making plans, innovation administration, and digital / clever environments. It explains the increase of clever towns with appreciate to the globalisation of structures of innovation; opens up a brand new method for making clever environments through the relationship of human abilities, institutional mechanisms, and electronic areas working inside of a neighborhood; and describes a sequence of systems and instruments for the making of clever towns.

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On the other hand, the case of the Noord-Brabant region having a modest GDP per capita shows that a powerful innovation performance does not always lead to high incomes. In 2006, the top ten performing regions identified among the 208 regions of the EU-25 were Stockholm and Västsverige in Sweden, Oberbayern (DE), Etelä-Suomi (FI), Karlsruhe (DE), Stuttgart (DE), Braunschweig (DE), Sydsverige (SE), Île de France (FR) and Östra Mellansverige (SE). Their performances reflect national innovation strengths, with the majority of regions coming from the group of innovation leading EU Member States (SE, FI, and DE).

However, the fact that the first places in the world classification of innovation belong in Finland and Sweden, small countries with strong state intervention and institutional organisation, questions a strong neoliberal argument for the higher efficiency of market-mediated relationships in the innovation economy. State-led and market-led economies can equally well achieve very good and very bad records of innovation. It is more a question of organisation Regions of innovation excellence: learning from the best 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 4 45111 27 and social capital than primacy of market or state forces.

The different geographies of planning regions and regional systems of innovation were one of the main focuses of criticism against the learning region theory (Lovering 1999; McLeod 2001), but this does not affect the concepts and intellectual constructs of the theory; rather its political dimension and utility in policy-making. This is especially relevant for regional innovation strategies exercised at the level of administrative and planning regions, while the underlying system of innovation is inter- or intra-regional.

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