Executive summary (Regions and Innovation Policy)

In the wake of the 2008 financial and economic crisis, innovation is viewed as central in boosting job creation and economic growth in the quest to build stronger, cleaner, and fairer economies. This is reflected in major international agendas such as the OECD Innovation Strategy and the EU's Innovation Union. In the new push for innovation and competitiveness, regions have increasingly become relevant actors. Two policy trends contribute to the rising role of regions. First, the paradigm shift in regional development policies favours strategies based on the mobilisation of regional assets for growth, bringing innovation to the core of regional development agendas. Second, there is a growing recognition of the regional dimension in national innovation strategies in harnessing localised assets and improving policy impacts. The increased relevance of networks and connectivity for innovation also reinforces the importance of regional innovation systems. But regions are not countries and cannot simply replicate national policies at a regional scale.
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