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The Contribution of Regional Networks to Innovation and Challenges for Regional Policy

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  • XAVIER GELLYNCK
  • BERT VERMEIRE

Abstract

In this article regional networking is defined as the set of interactions between companies and a diversity of regional partners by which the company acquires vital external resources. Previous research illustrates the positive effect of regional networking on innovation in the agribusiness sector. Furthermore, the embedded nature of networks and external resources opens opportunities for regional policymakers to enhance innovation and hence regional economic performance. Building further upon this vast literature and by interviewing food companies in a Belgian subregion, this article explores two research questions: first, the contribution of regional networking to different innovation types; second, whether, as regional policymakers aim at reinforcing these regional networks, differences in attitude towards public network support exist between the innovation classes. The discussion relates our findings to contemporary insights into the learning economy. We advocate a more targeted approach towards particular subgroups with respect to their behaviour in networking and their innovation capacity. In particular, the group of 'followers' is identified as a target group requiring appropriate support. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation(c) 2009 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Gellynck & Bert Vermeire, 2009. "The Contribution of Regional Networks to Innovation and Challenges for Regional Policy," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 719-737, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:33:y:2009:i:3:p:719-737
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    Cited by:

    1. Pippel, Gunnar, 2012. "The Impact of R&D Collaboration Networks on the Performance of Firms and Regions: A Meta-Analysis of the Evidence," IWH Discussion Papers 14/2012, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Brian W. Head, 2011. "Governance for sustainable regions: can government meet the innovation policy challenge?," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 219-230, August.
    3. Moodysson , Jerker & Sack , Lionel, 2013. "Innovation under the protected label of origin: heritage, influence and expanding horizons in Cognac," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/40, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    4. Henchion, Maeve M. & Sorenson, Douglas, 2011. "Formal Food-related Networks in Ireland: A Case Study Analysis," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 2(4).

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