Innovation-based ED also requires best practices in leadership. It is short-sighted to believe that a structure and programmes alone can inspire regional innovation. Visionary leadership is necessary to make innovation- based ED work in and across regions. This article has provided examples of such visionary leadership through the pioneering work of Governors Thornburgh and Celeste to guide the future of their states. Dr Judith Rodin and Mayor John Street were visionaries in their identiﬁcation of the opportunity for an innovation intermediary in Philadelphia.
Secondly, a particular type of leadership is required to operate the intermediary. As noted above in the description of programmes, the operation of innovation intermediaries requires knowledge of technology management, regional connectivity, business operations, investment and commercialization. Leaders of intermediaries can be best thought of as full-time entrepreneurs in residence with the know-how and know-whom and the trust and reputation for success. They must also have convergent knowledge of science, technology, business, markets and ED. Preferably, these people will have resounding connectivity qualities that will assist in the linking and leverage of the innovation-based economy. Finding the appropriate individuals to lead innovation intermediaries is an important step in developing turnkey solutions for regional innovation-based ED.