This divide will only be overcome if the region operates – at both a public, private and individual level – with a coherent and holistic identity. It is clear that the South East is far from immune to issues of social exclusion and economic bipolorisation. The hypothesis being that those areas with higher level of achievers from the school system will have a higher probability of sustaining and enhancing the available knowledge capital. Buckinghamshire is the highest performer with an indexed figure of 122.9, followed by Surrey and Thames Valley.
However, if policymakers are to make a difference to the future scores within this Index there must be a clear understanding of the conditions underlying knowledge-based growth and development. The essential of these Patent valuation segments is whether the property has had any building work or an extension manufactured. Interestingly, the top three knowledge economy rankings mirror the current rankings for forecast growth in GDP between 2000-2010 in the South East region.
From the econometric analysis we have undertaken three core conditions have emerged, with indices available to understand each areas current standing with regard to these conditions. The variance in business conditions may, as already pointed out, be partly due to each areas connection with the capital region – a factor requiring further exploration.
Although less tangible than business and human capital conditions, they are an important contributor towards providing an ‘atmosphere’ for knowledge creation, transformation and innovation. From our available indicators, high levels of economic activity, high-skilled employment opportunities, and a range of ‘innovation establishments’ all combine to provide varying levels of knowledge embeddedness. Within the region we almost see a list of the ‘usual suspects’ at the top of the index, with a very strong correlation with the overall Knowledge Economy Index at the local level in the South East.