Title: Changing policies for the automotive industry in an 'old' industrial region: an open innovation model for the UK West Midlands?

Authors: Stewart MacNeill, David Bailey

Addresses: Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Birmingham Business School, Birmingham B5 2TT, UK. ' Coventry University Business School, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB, UK

Abstract: Automobile manufacture in the UK West Midlands peaked during the 1950s and early 1960s but, with overseas competition, declined thereafter. Successive policies, such as government supported mergers to form the British Motor Corporation in the 1950s, green-field development away from the region in the 1960s, nationalisation of the (then) British Leyland in the 1970s, Japanese FDI in the 1980s and the Rover-centric Accelerate Project in the 1990s have failed to halt the decline. Since early 2000, regional policy has been the responsibility of the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands. The RDA has moved away from traditional support based on the needs of big companies or |champions| and adopted an approach centred on a mix of small and large businesses and high level research, and – arguably – an |open innovation| model. Here, we examine these new policies and their potential to create an innovative and competitive regional environment.

Keywords: regional innovation systems; RISs; clusters; open innovation; regional development agencies; automobile industry; industrial policy; UK; United Kingdom; automotive manufacturing; West Midlands.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2010.032620

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2010 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.128 - 144

Published online: 09 Apr 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article