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An Analysis of Regional Policies Promoting Networks for Innovation

Marco Bellandi and Annalisa Caloffi ()

European Planning Studies, 2009, vol. 18, issue 1, 67-82

Abstract: The diffusion of system-based innovation policies calls for the development of an appropriate evaluation framework. Such a frame requires a careful definition of the unit of analysis and evaluation, since evaluation based on the sum of individual additional results cannot assess appropriately the emergence of system effects. Moreover, it requires experimenting with new tools for measuring the relational effects of the new policies. The paper aims to contribute to this challenge, proposing an analysis of the inner structure and the organization of regional innovation systems in terms of network relations, and considering its results for their potential contribution to the evaluation of innovation policies in a systemic perspective. The empirical application focuses on a set of policies implemented by the Tuscany Region in Italy. It highlights that the same policy intervention may lead to the emergence of different relational architectures connecting the world of research and that of production, depending on the different relational context (technological/sectoral and territorial) in which they are grounded. These two aspects—the structure of the relations and the context in which they develop—must be carefully combined in order to identify the effects of policies aimed at promoting innovation.

Date: 2009
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DOI: 10.1080/09654310903343534

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