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Regional Innovation and Public Policy

Recently there has been a shift in policy debates on regional innovation from the innovation systems approach towards ecologies and ecosystems. These concepts are transferred from the world of biology to the social world in order to capture better the nature of technological innovation and inspire policies that facilitate evolutionary interactions between different individuals and organisations, their innovative activities and their regional environment.

This policy brief is based on an ESRC Innogen Centre research project that evaluated innovation ecology and ecosystem on both theoretical and empirical grounds. Evidence from this investigation indicates that the concepts of innovation ecology and ecosystem face particular problems of reductionism and functionalism and therefore they cannot be advocated as effective innovation policy-making tools at the regional level. What can be advocated is a series of policy recommendations able to deal with current regional innovation policy dilemmas.