Elgar original reference
Edited by Philip Cooke, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma, Ron Martin, Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling
Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling REGIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS ISSUES Part VI explores the drivers of regional innovation systems and begins in Chapter 33 with Franz Tödtling and Michaela Trippl’s review of the evolution and application of the concept. It draws attention to the firms, clusters, knowledge organizations and institutions of a region, as well as to the innovation interdependencies within the region and beyond. The last point is important because misinformed critique of the concept is often constrained to the ‘bucket theory’ of the region. But social systems are always open and this bucket lets water out and light in through its ‘structural holes’. As noted in the Introduction (Chapter 1) to this Handbook, some inspiration for the framework came from the emergence of an interactive user–producer theory of innovation that replaced the linear model mentioned by the authors. It will be interesting to observe future adaptations to this in light of the observations there about new ‘neolinear’ approaches such as demand-, user- and design-driven innovation (see also Chapter 43 of this Handbook on these). Efforts to recognize important institutional aspects, notably ‘conventions’ in the earliest formulation of the regional innovation system model, will clearly be affected by such reconsiderations. This may help moderate an imputed ‘fuzziness’ the authors report as a critique of their treatment, perhaps not surprising in light of Sunley’s (Chapter 25, this Handbook) recognition of the difficulty in researching them and Storper’s comparison of them with astronomical ‘dark matter’. This is a real...