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Regional Innovation Systems in Sweden

Joanna Ligenzowska
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Joanna Ligenzowska: , University of Agriculture in Krakow

International Economics, 2016, issue 16, 388-405

Abstract: Over the past two decades, social scientists and governments have been paying more and more attention to regions as designated sites of innovation and competitiveness in the globalizing economy. Thus, innovation and innovation systems are becoming increasingly interesting to policy‐makers as ways of achieving their economic and social goals. Europe 2020, the European Union’s key strategy for the current decade, aims to foster a smart, sustainable, and inclusive economy. “Innovation has been placed at the heart of the strategy”, as it provides the “best means of successfully tackling major societal challenges” (European Commission 2010, p. 2). The new age of capitalism requires a new kind of region. In effect, regions are increasingly defined by the same criteria and elements which comprise a knowledge-intensive firm: continuous improvement, new ideas, knowledge creation and organizational learning (Florida 2003, p. 236). The increased policy and research interest in regional clusters and innovation systems reflects the growing significance of the regional level, and the importance of specific and regional resources, for stimulating the innovation capability and competitiveness of firms. The social and interactive practice of innovation also points to the importance of the relationship between the firm and its environment. The learning economy perspective affirms that learning and innovation are localized, not placeless processes (Storper 1997). Thus, it emphasizes that innovation is a territorially-embedded process, based not only on resources that are place specific but also on social and institutional contexts (Asheim, lsaksen 2002). This paper describes the role of innovations in Sweden and Swedish regions in development and growth, mainly by analysing the concept of regional innovation systems. Moreover, the actors and associations from the innovation system perspective are pointed out in the article. An analysis of the policy documents and a literature overview was the basis of the empirical material. Data comes from the OECD and EUROSTAT databases.

Keywords: regional innovation systems; knowledge bases; institutions; Sweden (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 O18 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:ann:inecon:y:2016:i:16:p:388-405