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The Role of Research in Wine: the Emergence of a Regional Research Area in an Italian Wine Production System


  • Andrea Morrison


  • Roberta Rabellotti



The process of technological modernisation of the wine industry has increasingly become a global phenomenon involving both traditional wine producing countries – such as France, Italy and Portugal – as well as new emerging producers –as the US, Australia, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. At this respect, the literature (Aylward, 2003; Unwin, 1991) remarks that in the industry the process of technological renovation has been spurred by the consistent investment of new producer countries, as California, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, in creating or strengthening research institutions. These efforts have led to the creation of a specialised wine research system. Conversely, it seems that producers in traditional wine producing areas have often been locked in old technologies and methods of production, due to path dependency. The aim of this paper is to shed some light on how old producing countries have reacted to the increased technological competition by emerging producers. In particular we focus on role played by research organisations (e.g. universities, public research centres) and intermediate institutions (e.g. sectoral associations, extension agencies, technological transfer centres) in generating and diffusing knowledge within the industry. The paper is based on first and second hand information collected in Piemonte, where it is located one of the most important Italian wine cluster. There, we have conducted an extensive fieldwork and interviewed several key informants working at research organisations; extension agencies, associations of producers and other associations acting as opinion/lobbying groups. The information collected are elaborated to reconstruct a detailed picture of actors, linkages and processes underpinning the regional innovation and production wine system.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Morrison & Roberta Rabellotti, 2006. "The Role of Research in Wine: the Emergence of a Regional Research Area in an Italian Wine Production System," ERSA conference papers ersa06p199, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p199

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edquist, Charles & Chaminade, Cristina, 2009. "Industrial policy from a systems-of-innovation perspective," EIB Papers 5/2006, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    2. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cooke, Philip & Gomez Uranga, Mikel & Etxebarria, Goio, 1997. "Regional innovation systems: Institutional and organisational dimensions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 475-491, December.
    4. Georghiou, Luke & Roessner, David, 2000. "Evaluating technology programs: tools and methods," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 657-678, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bodas Freitas, Isabel Maria & Marques, Rosane Argou & Silva, Evando Mirra de Paula e, 2013. "University–industry collaboration and innovation in emergent and mature industries in new industrialized countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 443-453.
    2. Elisa Giuliani & Andrea Morrison & Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2008. "Why Do Researchers Collaborate with Industry? An analysis of the wine sector in Chile, South Africa and Italy," KITeS Working Papers 217, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised May 2008.
    3. Cusmano, Lucia & Morrison, Andrea & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2010. "Catching up Trajectories in the Wine Sector: A Comparative Study of Chile, Italy, and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1588-1602, November.
    4. Giuliani, Elisa & Morrison, Andrea & Pietrobelli, Carlo & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2010. "Who are the researchers that are collaborating with industry? An analysis of the wine sectors in Chile, South Africa and Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 748-761, July.
    5. Morrison, Andrea & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2017. "Gradual catch up and enduring leadership in the global wine industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 417-430.
    6. Giuliani, Elisa & Arza, Valeria, 2009. "What drives the formation of 'valuable' university-industry linkages?: Insights from the wine industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 906-921, July.

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    JEL classification:

    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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