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Innovation in economically developed and lagging European regions: A configurational analysis

Nikolaos Filippopoulos and Georgios Fotopoulos

Research Policy, 2022, vol. 51, issue 2

Abstract: Regional innovation in Europe is analyzed with Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis, distinguishing between different economic development level categories and between innovation performance groups within each category. Different mechanisms were identified based on varying conjunctions of business and public sector R&D, spatial proximity to external R&D, networks of collaborations, tolerance and inclusion, and human capital. More developed regions present four main mechanisms that lead to regional innovation. Namely, a technologically driven mechanism, a business R&D driven technological mechanism, a mechanism driven primarily by internal R&D competencies and tolerance and inclusion, and a general path to regional innovation, supporting a public R&D driven technological mechanism. When the analysis focuses on moderate innovators, the absence of skilled human capital is added as a relevant condition owing primarily to the lack of technological and technical skills in some regions. For lagging regions, the relevant innovation definition excludes patenting as these regions focus on ‘softer’ innovation aspects than technological innovation. Innovation in lagging regions is primarily driven by public R&D supported by tolerance and inclusion or by networks of collaboration. The latter might work as a condition compensating for -often unfavorable- geography.

Keywords: Regional innovation; Public and private R&D; Networks of collaboration; Tolerance and inclusion; Interregional R&D spillovers; FsQCA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C6 O32 O38 R11 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2021.104424

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