OSWEGO — “Science and Technology Based Regional Entrepreneurship,” edited by SUNY Oswego professor Sarfraz Mian, takes a global view on how nations, regions and communities attract and sustain economic development through technological innovation.
The collection of case studies written by educators and other experts examines best practices around the world regarding regions cultivating the “triple helix” of government support, private industry and the academic sector to launch and support economic ecosystems friendly to science, innovation and business.
“The purpose of this book was to learn from the experiences of different nations,” said Mian, a professor of marketing and management at Oswego. While many factors related to local culture and politics may vary — as there is no one-size-fits-all approach — successful economic development efforts are marked by collaboration, he said.
Well-known examples in the United States include California’s Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle in North Carolina, but international successes range from the Cambridge technology region in Britain to the Bangalore region in India, Mian noted.
Countries like South Korea, for example, have excelled in technological development through productive use of state-directed resources, in partnership with entrepreneurs and with universities, which can provide a knowledge and research foundation, he said.
Part I of the book examines eight industrialized nations with large populations around Europe, South Korea and the United States. Part II focuses on six industrialized nations with more modest populations: Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan. Part III features five large emerging and industrializing nations — Brazil, China, India, Pakistan and South Africa — and the challenges of increasing skills of workers and average income to meet each nation’s large and untapped markets and potential.
Mian co-authored the first chapter, with well-known business incubation consultant Walter Plosila, “Science and Technology Based Regional Entrepreneurship in the United States: The Evolution of National and State Policies and Programs.” The chapter explores how government-created umbrella economic development organizations, public-private partnerships and connections to academia have contributed to successful innovation and technology regions.
Since the book, published by Edward Elgar Publishing, is interdisciplinary in nature, Mian said he could see it appealing to those studying or interested in science, technology, innovation, business, economic development or how to form public-private partnerships.
The case studies can help “wherever people are exploring the creation of what we call a collaborative ecosystem in a region that is self-sustaining,” he said. This has been visible throughout Upstate New York, whether along the Innovation Trail, Albany’s emphasis on nanotechnology or studies in Syracuse and Central New York to promote a knowledge-based economic region.
“All of these efforts are trying to identify some of the characteristics around which we can create a vibrant entrepreneur-based region,” Mian said. “We try to manage organizations in a strategic way so that we are moving in a strategic direction.”
Education and entrepreneurship
In addition to the book, Mian recently served as guest editor of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management in a special “Innovative University Programs in Technology Business Incubation” issue. He solicited and edited several pieces by experts from around the world and contributed a lead article, “University’s Involvement in Technology Business Incubation: What Literature and Practice Tell Us?”
Mian has built expertise and connections with other authors through decades of studying and teaching global entrepreneurship. He also serves as the project investigator of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor program in Pakistan, exploring how that nation handles business start-ups, government policy and educational partnerships.
“I started out from my doctoral work to emphasize the role of academe, the university, in creation of knowledge regions by partnering with governments and private industry,” he said. “The role of the university is one I have highlighted over the years.”