Quotation Tödtling, Franz, Trippl, Michaela, Tesch, Veronika. 2021. New directions for RIS studies and policies in the face of grand societal challenges. European Planning Studies. 1-18.




The regional innovation system (RIS) approach has become a widely used framework for examining the dynamics of innovation across space and for crafting policies to promote the innovation capacity of regions. The dominant focus has been on technological and business innovation enhancing competitiveness and economic growth. In light of persistent environmental and social challenges such as climate change, aging, and growing inequalities, this understanding appears to be too narrow. We argue that the RIS approach requires a critical reassessment for informing the next generation of regional innovation policies. We explore how RIS scholarship and policies could benefit from an alternative understanding of the innovation process. Inspired by recent work on mission-oriented and transformative innovation policies, we develop the notion of a ‘challenge-oriented RIS (CoRIS). In contrast to conventional understandings of a RIS, this approach embraces a more critical view of innovation, captures the directionality of change, opens up to new innovation actors at different territorial scales, and pays more attention to the application side and upscaling of innovation within the region and beyond. Acknowledging that regions vary in their capacity for transformative change and challenge-oriented innovation, the article outlines new directions for place-based innovation policies.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Planning Studies
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title New directions for RIS studies and policies in the face of grand societal challenges
Year 2021
Page from 1
Page to 18
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09654313.2021.1951177
DOI https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09654313.2021.1951177
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09654313.2021.1951177


Tödtling, Franz (Details)
Tesch, Veronika (Universität Wien, Austria)
Trippl, Michaela (Universität Wien, Austria)
Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5329 Economics of location (Details)
5331 Structural policy (Details)
5350 Innovation research (Details)
5606 Spatial research (Details)
5608 Regional development planning (Details)
5611 Urban and regional analysis (Details)
5618 Regional economy (Details)
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