Chapter 12: Understanding Regional Innovation Systems in LMT Industries: The Case of Turkey as an Emerging Market Economy
Ali Fikirkoca, Bahar Çelikkol Erbas and Arcan Tuzcu 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter describes the Regional Innovation System (RIS) of the Republic of Turkey in relation to firms operating in low- and mediumtechnology (LMT) sectors and discusses the implications of our findings from the perspective of the characteristics of developing countries. We have based our analysis on data collected as part of an ongoing research project funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). Our objective is twofold. Firstly, we profile innovative characteristics and identify the factors affecting the innovative performances of different regions in Turkey within the context of increasing global competition and the country’s close relationship with the EU, with a special focus on the critical role of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Our second aim is to examine policy designs that are sensitive to Turkey’s specific problems in building Regional Development Agencies in the process of EU accession. In order to achieve these goals, we have conducted face-to-face surveys and statistical analyses on 800 SMEs located in organized industrial zones (OIZs) in eight regions of Turkey. The chapter is organized into seven sections. The introduction is followed by a section summarizing the importance of the ‘region’ as a dimension in economic development. We argue that EU policies have given significant weight to regional policies as an economic tool to promote development and note the problems encountered within this process. In the third section, the literature on RISs is introduced. We contend that Regional...
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