North East Connected

Business Durham Innovation Director contributes to new book

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 16.42.56Catherine Johns, Innovation and Business Growth Director for Business Durham, is one of 30 global innovation leaders shedding light on the growing international phenomenon of areas of innovation in a new publication from the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP).

In this new book Areas of Innovation in a Global World: Concept and Practice, experts from around the world share their insights, draw up essential criteria for success, share their practical experience and provide results-oriented guidance for managers of areas of innovation. With contributions from 15 countries and all seven continents, it is truly a global project unlike any other.

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Ecuador, Finland, France, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA

What is this book about?

Halfway into the second decade of the 21st century, a fresh wave of areas of innovation (AOI) is emerging across the world. These AOIs expand on the concept of the science park and university environments, and explore the new and even more active role of cities in stimulating growth via innovation, creating sustainable and effective working and living conditions, forming appealing urban ecosystems for students, scientists, entrepreneurs, larger corporations, investors and startups.

Areas of Innovation in a Global World: Concept and Practice addresses the current demand for AOIs, identifying key trends and concepts, shares management insights and successful approaches in establishing and running an innovation ecosystem.

Who is this book for?

Areas of Innovation in a Global World: Concept and Practice will benefit managers of areas of innovation, innovation clusters, universities, science parks, incubators, accelerators, city policy makers and urban planners, as well as professionals involved in local, national and international public and development organizations, such as business associations and chambers of commerce, and any other interest groups looking to discover the logic, expected outcomes and benefits of the areas of innovation.

It is a valuable tool for innovation community professionals anywhere in the world, addressing the managerial reality of work in the field.

Dr Anna Nikina, one of the authors and editors of the book, who initiated the book project together with IASP back in 2014, said:

“The dream was to initiate a project that would bring together the great minds and top leaders of innovation ecosystems, academia and business, with the aim of sharing contemporary knowledge and best practices in the sphere of innovation management, as well as to inspiring outside-the-box modern thinking in the realities where, with the globalization of technologies, startup teams and R&D, the support mechanisms for successful commercialization of innovations are reshaping, making visionary leadership and modern management central to the successful development of high-tech companies and overall economic growth.”

Catherine Johns was asked to contribute a chapter on the Top 5 challenges of building AOIs and also co-authored a chapter on the benefits to startups of being located in an AOI.  She commented:

“It was a privilege to be asked to contribute insights from how Business Durham has developed the North East Technology Park and a great opportunity to showcase other best practice from around the world.  The key insight for us while working on the chapter was that Silicon Valley cannot be recreated and neither should it be: each AOI needs to be nuanced to its own locality and create a niche in which it can assume leadership by building on its own particular strengths and characteristics.”

Luis Sanz, IASP Director General, commented:

“An important trend that we see taking place globally is the increase of areas of innovation – either by the evolvement of science parks into a broader concept or by new innovation ecosystems emerging and finding themselves within this new concept that considers all of the necessary conditions for work and life of entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and scientists. The phenomenon pushes organizations, cities and countries to change their way of thinking and supporting innovation processes. IASP assumed leadership and back in 2010 made a strategic decision to open the doors of the association to areas of innovation, such as science cities, innovation districts and other areas of innovation.”

IASP President Jean-François Balducchi (Atlanpole, Nantes, France) said:

“As we are deeply convinced that IASP experience and Innovation leadership can fully benefit these new types of organizations we are glad to support and sponsor this publication of high value and outstanding articles gathered from several authors all across our global network, and to share them with policy makers and innovation professional around the World.”

Key insights, interviews, videos and co-author introductions are available at

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