The premise driving most research and innovation (R & I) policies is that certain dynamics can be leveraged to foster innovation and development through collaboration. However, the assumption that increased innovation will lead to local development and growth remains unproven. Not all regions have the capacity, resources or infrastructure to reap the socio-economic benefits arising from innovation. If R & I is to function as a driver of growth, it is imperative that policies support local development of discoveries into technologies while locally retaining socially and economically desirable outcomes. Translation and commercialisation are essential to transform research into innovations. Without intellectual property (IP) to safeguard investments in R & I, stakeholders may be discouraged from participating in the innovation process if there is no incentive to collaborate and share. This chapter examines how regional actors and the strategic use of IP can attract and retain investment and intellectual capital, while optimising socio-economic value from publicly funded research.
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