For half a century regions have been presented as engines and cradles of innovation. This chapter
reviews the prolific development of academic concepts and logics and policy rationales dealing with
this phenomenon. The review is based on a relational perspective, focusing on the role of vehicular
ideas and unique regional development trajectories in nurturing (the image of) innovative regions.
The core ideas are ‘new industrial spaces’, ‘territorial innovation models’ and ‘smart
specialization’. This brings home two key contrasting points. On the one hand, regions are not only
engines of innovation, but certain regions, notably those of an ‘outlier’ type, are the cradle of
the very mechanisms of place-based innovation that shape such engines. On the other hand, too much
emphasis on regions as innovation engines may result in a double trap, namely an economic ‘trap of
endogeneity’ and a political ‘territorial trap’. Overcoming these traps still poses a major
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.