Michael Best specializes on industrial development strategies, business organization, technological change, cluster evolution, and regional innovation systems. His 'capability and innovation' perspective on industrial growth and change is developed and illustrated with enterprise, region, and national case studies in two books, The New Competitive Advantage: The Renewal of American Industry, Oxford University Press, 2001 and The New Competition: Institutions of Industrial Restructuring, Harvard University Press, 1990, and a series of articles (see publications). Professor Best recently completed a study of the rise and rapid growth of the medical devices industry in Massachusetts that deploys an historical dataset of high tech companies to characterize the forces that drive industrial transitions and the emergence of new clusters. Presently he is funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship to transfer the research methodology to the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, National University of Ireland, Galway.
Professor Best is a Fellow of the Judge Business School of Cambridge University, on the advisory board of The Competitiveness Institute <http://www.competitiveness.org/> in Barcelona, and an editorial board member of Massachusetts Benchmarks: The Quarterly Review of Economic News and Insight, jointly published by the University of Massachusetts and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He was the National Science Foundation evaluator for the Biodegradable Polymer Center, an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center and before that he was on the board of the New Product Development Corporation (a royalty based financial institution in Massachusetts), and on the staff of the Greater London Enterprise Board, a public sector venture capital agency.