Knowledge-infused clusters, involving governmental and university, as well as firm actors are the epitome of contemporary economic development strategy. The role of Southern Oregon University (SOU) in the inception of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) gives rise to a model for education-focused universities to play a significant role in local economic development through creation of cultural clusters from existing knowledge. Since the arts as well as the sciences provide a base for knowledge-based clusters, all universities have the potential to contribute to economic and social development. In a traditional conception of academic entrepreneurship, a research base may be a pre-requisite to creating spin-offs. However, if we expand entrepreneurship into a broader conception to map its various forms of commercial, social, cultural and civic entrepreneurship, a teaching university may also be the source of new economic activity. The convergence of entrepreneurship, triple helix, cluster and Civil Society frameworks, exemplified by the Ashland case, may provide a model as instructive as Silicon Valley, to seekers of a general theory and practice of regional innovation. A vibrant Civil Society that provides a fertile seedbed for civic entrepreneurship and triple helix interactions enhances clustering.
Triple Helix Civic entrepreneurship Civil Society Cultural cluster Entrepreneurial university