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

Arne Isaksen, Franz Tödtling, Michaela Trippl

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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In academic and policy circles we find a widespread consensus that the promotion of current economic strongholds and specialisations is no longer sufficient for ensuring the long-term competitiveness of regions. New policy concepts such as smart specialisation emphasize the need to break with past practices and suggest innovation strategies that boost regional structural change. However, regional innovation systems (RIS) differ strongly in their capacity to develop new growth paths. The aim of the 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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

SeriesSRE - Discussion Papers

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

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

WU Working Paper Series

  • SRE - Discussion Papers

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