Edited by Bjørn T. Asheim, Arne Isaksen, Claire Nauwelaers and Franz Tödtling
Chapter 3: National and Regional Contexts for Innovation
3. National and regional contexts for innovation Arne Isaksen This chapter gives a general view of the diﬀerent National Innovation Systems and policy contexts of the 11 regions that host the policy instruments to be evaluated and compared in subsequent chapters. The regions are located in eight countries throughout Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain (see map on page 65). The chapter (i) points to important characteristics, similarities and diﬀerences between the national innovation systems and the national ‘innovation cultures’ in these countries, (ii) describes the various approaches to regional innovation support in the countries and (iii) discusses the typical innovation barriers in the study regions. Thus, the chapter pays attention to the speciﬁc institutional and economic contexts of the 11 regions. The chapter forms a basis for some of the analyses in subsequent chapters, as diﬀering national innovation systems and policy contexts inﬂuence SMEs’ innovation patterns (Chapter 4), the results achieved by diﬀerent policy tools (Chapter 6), as well as the policy approaches selected in the regions (Chapter 8). 3.1 DIFFERENT NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS The ﬁrst objective of the chapter is to disentangle some of the main similarities and diﬀerences between the eight European countries in their approach to innovation policy. Nations diﬀer in important ways as regards their institutional set-ups, socio-economic systems and ‘innovation cultures’ (e.g. Hodgson 2002). Such variations may lead to diﬀerences in innovation policy strategies. What, then, characterizes the innovation...
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