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  • Series: New Horizons in Regional Science series x
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Véronique Peyrache-Gadeau, Sarah Rutter and Jeannie Bélicard

Alpine resorts are particularly sensitive to the question of tourism sustainability, notably because of their economic dependence on winter tourism in a context of climate change. They can be characterized by the notion of vulnerability, which reflects their adaptive capacity to coinciding issues of sustainability and adaptation to climate change. This chapter analyses four tourist resorts in the French Alps (Val d’Isère, Saint Gervais, Combloux and Les Gets) as innovative milieus that create the expertise required to address the potential challenges of this adaptive capacity. The chapter first provides an explanation of the specific characteristics of these resorts with regard to sustainable tourism, their relative sensitivity and capacity to innovate. It then examines the innovative dimension of local solutions explored in the four study sites, and their ability to stimulate real change towards sustainable development for the local communities.

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Jaime del Castillo, Jonatan Paton and Belen Barroeta

During the last 30 years, the Basque Country has experienced a phenomenon known as the ‘Great Basque Competitive Transformation’, by which the Basque region evolved from a mature and obsolete economic specialization pattern to one focused on high-tech and intensive knowledge activities where sustainability becomes one of the new emerging markets. This transformation took place due to a progressive change in the context’s conditions from a triple perspective (economic, social and environmental) where the role of public policy arose as one of the most remarkable items. The chapter analyses the case of the electric vehicle as one of the sustainable innovations resulting from the changes generated through the ‘Great Basque Competitive Transformation’.

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Bernard Guesnier

The Atlantic Nautical Network is a public interregional innovative initiative, the goal of which is to develop synergy between know-how, skills and innovation capacities in order to stimulate the transition of the nautical industry towards sustainable development. Mixing both institutional and product innovation, this project consists in the development of a new form of governance of the territorial organization of productive systems. Overcoming local frontiers, this interregional project aims at the creation of a new innovative territory (innovative milieu), with the support of the nautical industry, which constitutes an opportunity for re-industrialization.

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Mitsuru Sato and Yoshiyuki Okamoto

This chapter presents the evolution of Japan’s regional production systems through the case of the Suwa region, which is one of the regional industrial areas in Japan. The objective of the chapter is to explain the sustainable innovation process and to consider the role of a region in innovation creation. In Suwa, the active interaction of the region brings regional innovations toward sustainable development, while utilizing accumulated technology of the region. The region provides opportunities which ease the knowledge flow between actors within the region and outside the region, by establishing core organization.

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Roberto Camagni

The concluding chapter recalls the scientific trajectory of the European Research Group on Innovative Milieus (GREMI) and explains the new ways in which contemporary issues related to sustainability can inspire. Indeed, GREMI’s evolutionary regional economic approach based on synergies and cooperation, traditionally oriented to the interpretation of the production (supply) side, turns now to the interpretation of demand shifts from material goods to immaterial, relational and positional goods. The use value of these latter goods resides in collective fruition, mutual recognition, reciprocity and in their symbolic content referring to community identity. The milieu effect is back again, conducive to new behavioural attitudes by the business community and to original collective actions for the supply of commons and new relational goods.

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Sustainable Innovation and Regional Development

Rethinking Innovative Milieus

Edited by Leïla Kebir, Olivier Crevoisier, Pedro Costa and Véronique Peyrache-Gadeau

This book questions the way contemporary innovation processes develop and become embedded in territories. It analyses recent developments in territorial systems of production, networks of innovation and innovative milieus, with regard to the issue of sustainable development. Drawing on 12 case studies aimed at fostering sustainable development and conducted by an experienced team of international scholars, a new conceptual approach to sustainable innovation is proposed. More broadly, it also reassesses the development models proposed in the 1980s that emerged in the context of globalization, competitiveness and technological innovation.
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Edited by Hans Westlund and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

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Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Tsuyoshi Hatori and Hayeong Jeong