One of the most important policy issues in many parts of the world is the transformation of economies to knowledge driven economies. This results from the factors of development and competitiveness of the modern economies analysis, where knowledge is seen as the key one. Although in the era of advanced telecommunication and information technologies the transfer of information and knowledge regardless of location is facilitated, the economic development is still very uneven and geography is a very important issue in economic studies. The concept of knowledge economy is given the highest priority in the European Union's socio-economic agenda (the Lisbon Strategy launched in 2000) and the necessity of supporting the creation of the regions of knowledge is also stressed (The 'Regions of knowledge' pilot action, first introduced in 2003 by the European Parliament). The aim of this paper is to explain the idea of knowledge economy, identify its indicators and apply them to measure the development of the knowledge economy in Polish voivodeships (NUTS II units). In the first section the review of the definitions of knowledge economy is presented. The second section comprises the measurement of the performance of Polish voivodeships on three Knowledge Economy pillars: 1.Education and human capital (high level of education and skills enables creating, adoption and effective usage of knowledge), 2. Innovation system (innovativeness of firms is supported by the cooperation between firms, research centres, universities and the government), 3. Information and communication technologies (ICT infrastructure facilities the effective communication and dissemination of information). The purpose of analysing all of the indicators is to show the strengths and weaknesses of voivodeships in building the knowledge economy. The overall synthetic index is created in order to benchmark one voivodeship in comparison with others.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.