This book presents:• The results of an empirical analysis of the new phenomenon of virtual clusters (VCs), which highlight the dynamics of these emerging innovation networks in the digital economy; the challenges that this dynamics represents for the conventional theories, which are unable to define a comprehensive framework that supports the development of these networks.• An overview of the most significant theoretical approaches to innovation networks, and their rethinking in the digital economy scenario. Following a neo-Schumpeterian approach, a particular focus is on the opportunity to integrate the economic benefits coming from the geographical proximity, with the advantages related to the “organisational proximity” allowed by the ICT networks.• The constituent points of a strategy aimed at sustaining the developing processes of a VC in a drawback region, and a description of the e-Salento project, an application of this strategy to an Italian drawback region, the Salento. Some general implications of the project for theory and practice are also discussed.• The architecture and the master plan of two initiatives within the e-Salento project, concerning the agribusiness and tourism sectors.• A model of leadership, to guide innovation in an organisation competing in the digital economy, including both firms and regions.The perspective advanced in this book addresses issues concerned with VC growth and regions' economic development processes that are common to both the regional studies and the innovation management literature; the book represents an important empirically grounded contribution to them. Furthermore, several scholars argue that new development models are emerging for firms and regions. There is a lack of published work that provides empirical grounding and/or analytical models of firms' and regions' development processes in the Net Economy.

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