Regions and Innovation Policies in Europe
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Regions and Innovation Policies in Europe

Learning from the Margins

Edited by Manuel González-López and Bjørn T. Asheim

Offering a novel contribution within the growing field of regional innovation policies, this book combines recent theoretical developments and empirical contributions, with a particular focus on non-core regions. Leading academics in the field discuss the topics of regional path transformation, place-based strategies and policy learning. Also included are sections on the role of EU institutions on the promotion of regional innovation and the analysis and comparison of the innovation policies experiences of four non-core European regions.
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Chapter 2: Advancing place-based regional innovation policies

Robert Hassink

Abstract

Although place-based regional innovation policies have been favoured for some time over spatially blind policies, recently doubts have been expressed about their effectiveness, particularly in lagging regions where populism has arisen. In this chapter, I argue that, in order to overcome such problems, place has to be taken more seriously in place-based regional innovation policies. Place is more than a container filled with quantitative data; it is a qualitative concept, and relates to the sense, feelings, emotions, recognition, identity and imaginations a place evokes. Only if we conceptualize and understand place in such a way, will we be able to better understand and recognize inequalities, place-specific norms and values affecting the regional economy, and place-specific drivers of actors, which might go beyond technological innovation, as well as untapped, endogenous potential for regional development.

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