Knowledge-based economies are “directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information”. Knowledge is an increasingly important driver of economic growth and productivity. This transformation is linked with the arrival of information and communications technology (ICT), but the knowledge economy can appear in any sector. The marker of a knowledgebased industry is the innovative use of information and technology in the production of goods and services, ranging from microchips to food products and everything in between. Indicators for measuring the knowledge economy in a community or region include: the number of patents applied for locally, research and development expenditures, new business start-ups in knowledge-based sectors, or more qualitative indicators related to the local area.
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