Innovation policies for regional structural change: Combining actor-based and system-based strategies

  • Arne Isaksen (Contributor)
  • Tödtling, F. (Contributor)
  • Michaela Trippl (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


The promotion of current economic strongholds and specialisations is no longer sufficient in order to ensure the long-term competitiveness of regions. New policy concepts emphasize innovation strategies that boost regional structural change, i.e. policies that support regional economies to renew their industrial base by diversifying into new economic fields. This new strategic orientation has essentially been informed by evolutionary economic geography. Applying a regional innovation system (RIS) perspective, recent work furthermore has shown that RIS differ enormously in their capacity to develop new growth paths. The policy implications following from this uneven geography of new path development have hardly been discussed so far. The aim of this paper is to identify opportunities and limitations of regional innovation policies to promote new path development in different types of RIS. We distinguish between (1) organisationally thick and diversified RIS, (2) organisationally thick and specialized RIS and (3) thin RIS. Regarding path development, a distinction is drawn between the extenstion, modernization, importation, branching and creation of industrial paths, reflecting various degrees of radicalness of change in regional economies. The paper offers a conceptual analysis of conditions and influences that enable and constrain new path development in each RIS type and outlines the contours of policy strategies that are suitable for promoting new path development in those different types of RIS.
Period23 Aug 201626 Aug 2016
Event titleERSA Congress 2016
Event typeUnknown
Degree of RecognitionNational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502039 Structural policy
  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 507016 Regional economy
  • 507014 Regional development
  • 507011 Spatial research
  • 507
  • 507023 Location development