Knowledge and diversity of innovation systems: a comparative analysis of European regions
This article aims at assessing the diversity of regional innovation systems and their economic performances within Europe. We propose to adapt the Social Systems of Innovation and Production (SSIP) framework developed by Amable, Barré and Boyer (1997) at the regional level by identifying specific arrangements of each part of the innovation and production system. A key feature of this approach is the concept of complementary institutions, allowing a limited number of viable and stable configurations to be identified. Three key features of European regions are investigated using this framework: the diversity of regional SSIPs, the interplay of regional and national determinants of such systems, and the impact of SSIPs on regional performance. We identify a typology of regional configurations resulting from the combination of scientific, technological, educational and industrial indicators, using multivariate data analysis. We then test the existence of specific regional growth regimes. The results highlight a persistently high level of diversity of regional configurations, notably among knowledge intensive regions, but also show that national institutional settings remain of fundamental importance in shaping a number of regional configurations. A final conclusion relates to the weak correlation observed between the structural characteristics of regions and their performances over the 2003-2007 period: regional performance remains primarily shaped by national trends. Overall, the paper questions the regional dimension of these “systems”.
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