New Roles for Key Players
Edited by Willem Molle and Julia Djarova
Chapter 9: Regional Innovative Potential and Development Strategies: The Case of Poland
Marta Mackiewicz, Robert Pollock and Paulina Fabrowska ‘Industry, knowledge and humanity are linked by an indissoluble chain.’ David Hume (1752) ‘The general objectives of all institutions must be adapted to meet the local conditions and meet the character of the people concerned.’ Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762) INTRODUCTION Although the above quotations from two renowned European thinkers are approximately 250 years old, they contain messages that remain relevant today for economic development policy makers. The quote from Scottish economist and philosopher David Hume (one of Adam Smith’s contemporaries) notes the interconnectivity between the economy, knowledge and society. The quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau emphasises the need for public policy that is tailored to its local context. Although these wise words have been in circulation for over two centuries, policy makers still have a tendency to develop regional development strategies that do not address the relationships between knowledge, industry and regional capacity, vital determinants of both innovation and regional wealth, in a joined-up manner. Furthermore, policy makers often ignore the need to adapt policy to the specific features of a region, preferring to import generic, context-less policy solutions (often labelled as ‘best practice’). In the spirit of these two philosophers, this chapter will contend that successful regional economic development is based on the recognition that: 229 230 ● Public sector ● economically valuable innovation at the regional level takes many forms and is determined by a range of factors that are region specific; developing a successful regional development strategy is dependent on responding to a region’s...
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