The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 594–615 | Cite as

Arts districts, universities, and the rise of digital media

  • Shiri M. BreznitzEmail author
  • Douglas S. Noonan


In the last decade, arts and culture have been placed at the center of attention when discussing economic growth. In particular, studies on the “creative class” have been using arts and culture as an important factor impacting local economies. In addition, studies on local economic development have frequently viewed universities as a major factor in economic growth. In the middle of this discussion is new economic growth via creativity, via new recipes and new combinations of local capital, and via innovation centers. Combining these disparate literatures brings to center stage both clusters of arts and culture and concentrations of research and human capital development. Hence, the focus of this paper is to analyze the dual impacts of universities and arts districts on innovation and economic growth through employment in digital media. The results indicate that cultural districts have a consistently positive effect on local digital media economic activity—employment and innovation. The same cannot be said for research universities.


Arts districts Universities Digital media Creative economy 

JEL Classification

O31 O32 O33 O34 


  1. Bramwell, A., & Wolfe, D. A. (2008). Universities and regional economic development: The entreprenurial University of Waterloo. Research Policy, 37, 1175–1187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Breznitz, S. M., & Feldman, M. P. (2012a). The engaged university. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 37, 139–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Breznitz, S. M., & Feldman, M. P. (2012b). The larger role of the university in economic development introduction to the special issue. Journal of Technology Transfer, 37, 135–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Camagni, R. (1991). Local ‘milieu’ uncertainty and innovation networks: Towards a new dynamic theory of economic space. In R. Camagni (Ed.), Innovation networks: Spatial perspectives. London: Belhaven.Google Scholar
  5. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (2012). 1994 Edition data file (Online). Available:
  6. Di Gregorio, D., & Shane, S. (2003). Why do some universities generate more start-ups than others? Research Policy, 32, 209–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eaton, S. C., & Bailyn, L. (1999). Work and life strategies of professionals in biotechnology firms. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 562, 159–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (1997). Universities and the global knowledge economy: A triple helix of university-industry-government relations. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  9. Feldman, M. P. (1994). The geography of innovation. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feldman, M. P., & Breznitz, S. M. (2009). The American experience in university technology transfer. In M. Mckelvey & M. Holmén (Eds.), European universities learning to compete: From social institutions to knowledge business. Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  11. Florida, R. (2002). The rise of the creative class. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. Forrant, R., Pyle, J., Lazonick, W., & Levenstein, C. (Eds.). (2001). Approaches to sustainable regional development: The public university in the regional economy. Boston: University of Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  13. Frost-Kumpf, H. A. (1998). Cultural districts: The arts as a strategy for revitalizing our cities. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts.Google Scholar
  14. Geuna, A., & Nesta, L. J. J. (2006). University patenting and its effects on academic research: The emerging European evidence. Research Policy, 35, 790–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goddarrd, J., & Chatterton, P. (1999). Regional development agencies and the knowledge economy: Harnessing the potential of universities. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 17, 685–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Infoplease Atlas. (2000–2007). Connecticut maps and online resources. Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease.Google Scholar
  17. Jaffe, A. B., & Lerner, J. (2004). Innovation and its discontents: How our broken patent system is endangering innovation and progress, and what to do about it. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Jaffe, A. B., Trajtenberg, M., & Henderson, R. (1993). Geographic localization of knowledge spillovers as evidenced by patent citations. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 108, 577–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kenney, M., & Patton, D. (2009). Reconsidering the Bayh-Dole Act and the current university invention ownership model. Research Policy, 38, 1407–1422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ladry, C., Bianchini, F., Ebert, R., Gnad, F., & Kunzman, K. (1996). The creative city in Britain and Germany. London: Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society.Google Scholar
  21. Lawton Smith, H. (2000). Technology transfer and industrial change in Europe. New York: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lerner, J. (2004). The university and the start-up: Lessons from the past two decades. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 30, 49–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Link, A., & Siegel, D. (2005). Generating science-based growth: An econometric analysis of the impact of organizational incentives on university-industry technology transfer. European Journal of Finance, 11, 169–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Markman, G. D., Gianiodis, P. T., Phan, P. H., & Balkin, D. B. (2005). Innovation speed: Transferring university technology to market. Research Policy, 34, 1058–1075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Markusen, A. (1996). Sticky places in slippery space: A typology of industrial districts. Economic Geography, 72, 293–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Maurrasse, D. J. (2001). Beyond the campus: How colleges and universities form partnerships with their communities. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Minshall, T., Druilhe, C., & Probert, D. (2004). The evolution of “Third Mission” activities at the University of Cambridge: Balancing strategic and operational considerations. 12th high tech small firms conference. The Netherlands: University of Twente. Google Scholar
  28. Mowery, D., Rosenberg, R. R., Sampat, B. N., & Ziedonis, A. A. (1999). The effects of the Bayh-Dole Act on U.S. University research and technology transfer. In L. M. Branscomb, F. Kodama, & R. L. Florida (Eds.), Industrializing knowledge: University-industry linkages in Japan and the United States. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mowery, D. C., & Sampat, B. N. (2001). University patents and patent policy debates in the USA, 1925–1980. Industrial & Corporate Change, 10, 781–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nelsen, L. (2003). The role of university technology transfer operations in assuring access to medicines and vaccines in developing countries. Yale Journal of Health, policy, Law, and Ethics, III, 301–308.Google Scholar
  31. Nelson, R. R. (1993). National innovation systems: A comparative analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Nelson, R. R., & Nelson, K. (2002). Technology, institutions, and innovation systems. Research Policy, 31, 265–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Owen-Smith, J., & Powell, W. (2001). To patent or not: Faculty decisions and institutional success in academic patenting. Journal of Technology Transfer, 26, 99–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rahm, D., Kirkland, J., & Bozeman, B. (2000). University-industry R & D collaboration in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rosenberg, D. (2001). Cloning silicon valley: The next generation high-tech hotspots. London: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  36. Rushton, M. (Ed.). (2013). Creative communities: Art works in economic development. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  37. Sampat, B. N. (2006). Patenting and US academic research in the 20th century: The world before and after Bayh-Dole. Research Policy, 35, 772–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Scott, P. (1977). What future for higher education. London: Fabian Tracts.Google Scholar
  39. Siegel, D. S., Waldman, D. A., Atwater, L. E., & Link, A. N. (2004). Toward a model of the effective transfer of scientific knowledge from academicians to practitioners: Qualitative evidence from the commercialization of university technologies. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 21, 115–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Siegel, D. S., Waldman, D., & Link, A. (2003). Improving the effectiveness of commercial knowledge transfers from universities to firms. Journal of High Technology Management Research, 14, 111–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stephan, P. (2012). How economic shapes science. USA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Strom, E. (2002). Convertin pork into porcelain: Cultural institutions and downtown development. Urban Affairs Review, 38(1), 3–21. Google Scholar
  43. Thursby, J. G., Jensen, R., & Thursby, M. C. (2001). Objectives, characteristics and outcomes of university licensing: A survey of major U.S. universities. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 26, 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tomusk, V. (2011). The micropolitics of knowledge in England and Europe. In D. Rhoten & C. Calhoun (Eds.), Knowledge matters: The public mission of the research university. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), Indiana University Public Policy InstituteIndiana University–Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations