No guarantees in a 'Silicon Valley' – Harald Bathelt and Peng-Fei Li

January 22, 2014

Front Cover_smallIn a time of global economic turbulence what determines whether or not firms succeed or fail? Peng-Fei Li and Harald Bathelt take a close look at the role of clusters in fostering innovation and knowledge exchange across industries. After looking closely at clusters in Canada and China, the authors argue that to gain competitive advantage, firms need to tap into the growing global network of small, distributed knowledge pools, as well as building and maintaining close connections and interactions between their subsidiaries and headquarters.

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Locating in a ‘Silicon Valley’ does not guarantee success for technology firms – they must also leverage knowledge and innovation globally.


Peng-Fei Li – University of Toronto
Is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto. His research focuses on industrial clusters, social and business networks, regional economic development, and transnational knowledge flows, with a regional interest in Asia.

Harald BatheltUniversity of Toronto
Harald Bathelt holds the Canada Research Chair in ‘Innovation and Governance’ at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Canada. He is also Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Planning. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of industrial and economic geography, political economy and methodology. Specific areas which provide the focus of his research and teaching activities include the analysis of long-term social and economic development, industrial clustering and the socio-economic impacts of regional and industrial change.