A Regionalised Innovation Policy Should Be Adopted

September 2004
Economic Bulletin;Sep2004, Vol. 41 Issue 9, p289
Academic Journal
This article discusses research findings presented at an international conference entitled, The Regionalisation of Innovation Policy--Options and Experiences, held by DIW Berlin in Germany in June 2004. Empirical studies show that the regional aspect and location conditions are of great importance for innovation activities. Innovation policy should be differentiated regionally in order to take account of the different geographical factors. Unified concepts for promoting regional innovation are not meaningful. There is a tendency across regions to promote similar high-technology fields like biotechnology and communications technology, which generally only account for a small share of regional value creation. It is doubtful whether this practice of concentrating on the same areas will be successful, because a critical mass of innovation activities in a specific technology field is often difficult to achieve in a region. It can be helpful to implement at least part of the regionalised innovation policy directly in the regions. Involving local actors at an early stage will ensure that the regional location factors and specialisations are sufficiently taken into account in the measures. Contests among regions for obtaining funding for their projects or ideas are promising ways of implementing a regionalised innovation policy.


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