Patterns of innovation in EU-25 regions: a typology and policy recommendations
With this paper we depict a typology of regions, capturing the diversity of regional innovation systems (RISs) across the EU-25. Following the RIS literature, we select twenty-one variables related to the ability of a region to generate and absorb knowledge, and its capacity to transform research and development into innovation and economic growth. On the basis of the results of principal components and cluster analyses, we identify seven types of RIS where the 186 regions group together according to their sectoral specialisation, technological and economic capacity, and performance. By allowing us to identify similar and more advanced regions, the paper facilitates comparisons and benchmarking between similar regions, thus enabling more accurate policy learning. For each group a number of policy recommendations are suggested, contingent on their local specific characteristics. In short, the contribution of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it provides the first RIS typology for the EU-25 regions completed using a large number of variables. Secondly, the conclusions obtained from the analysis may be used to lead policy makers’ actions in the field of regional innovation policy in the EU.