The process of value creation out of the acquisition, transfer and exploitation of scientific knowledge has become a major challenge for developed economies. Knowledge institutions like universities and R&D centres are important actors in this context. This paper offers a novel contribution to the assessment of the regional-economic importance of local and regional knowledge centres in the Eastern part of the Netherlands (provinces Gelderland and Overijssel) by exploring the potential benefits of supra-regional synergy that may arise through an alliance of three important distinct regional knowledge clusters (a ‘supernova star’), viz. the technology valley, the food valley and the health valley. We will evaluate their performance using a multi-parameter model, to identify the key handles for regional innovation policy. Through a strength-weakness analysis the relative strengths of each of these knowledge clusters will be investigated and we explore next whether a strategic alliance of the three knowledge clusters in the form of an integrated knowledge triangle (a ‘supernova star’) may create significant network economies. The paper will be concluded with some policy recommendations.
Keywords: regional innovation, knowledge-workers, clusters, techno-policy network model, creative hotspots, islands of innovation, SWOT analysis, supernova clusters, knowledge valorisation, benchmarking