Quotation Isaksen, Arne, Tödtling, Franz, Trippl, Michaela. 2016. Innovation policies for regional structural change: Combining actor-based and system-based strategies. SRE-Discussion 2016/5.




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.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Working/discussion paper, preprint
Language English
Title Innovation policies for regional structural change: Combining actor-based and system-based strategies
Title of whole publication SRE-Discussion 2016/5
Year 2016


Tödtling, Franz (Details)
Isaksen, Arne (University of Agder, Norway)
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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