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Chapter 7: Creating a Regional Innovation System: The Case of Lodz in Poland
Anna Rogut and Bogdan Piasecki INTRODUCTION Growing globalization is a phenomenon that is not to be ignored, especially as it may potentially hamper the development of poorer regions (ESPON 2007), including Lodz Province. The region covers an area of 18 219km2 and has 2 630 400 inhabitants. It is located in the geographical centre of Poland. The disadvantageous position of the region is reflected, first of all, in the traditional industries, a low level of innovation and development in the advanced technology sectors, a relatively low level of foreign capital investment and the flow of highly qualified workers to the strongest economic areas. Thus, the macroeconomic conditions provide a less favourable climate for SME development. At the same time, the region possesses a number of strengths opening new opportunities. In order to take advantage of them, one solution would be to strengthen the regional innovation system in order to help smaller companies face the challenges and opportunities arising out of globalization (Devi and Thangamuthu 2006; Holmes and Schmitz 2001; Thukral et al. 2008). The subject matter of this chapter is to characterize the evolution of the approach to creating such a system in the region. The empirical evidence on which it is based was gathered between 2005 and 2007. The research comprised of four directions of analysis, and focused on the following issues: clusters, regional benchmarking, technological and innovation audit, and regional foresight. In the remaining part of this chapter, a brief account will be given of the changes in...
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