Towards Regional Knowledge Economies: Routes and Policy Options
In recent years a move towards knowledge economies has been observed in many advanced countries. Knowledge based sectors and related activities have been expanding rapidly. However, the preconditions for developing such activities differ strongly between types of regions, depending on their location conditions, firm structure and institutional fabric. The regional innovation systems (RIS) approach captures such different settings in a useful way, allowing us to distinguish e.g. between well endowed and networked, fragmented and thin RIS. Using this approach we will study which conditions, potentials and barriers exist in different types of RIS for developing knowledge based industries and activities, and which routes and policy options might be adequate in different regional settings. We investigate these questions at first conceptually, drawing on the literature on RIS, and location and clustering of knowledge based sectors. Empirically we will present evidence on three regions in Austria (Vienna, Upper Austria and Salzburg) representing different types of RIS. Based on the conceptual findings we will compare these regions regarding their RIS characteristics, their preconditions for and strengths of knowledge based sectors focussing in particular on the ICT sector. Furthermore we will analyse routes and policy options for developing knowledge based sectors for such different types of regions. (author´s abstract)
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