Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2008/11: Putting Constructed Regional Advantage into Swedish Practice?. The case of the VINNVÄXT initiative 'Food Innovation at Interfaces'

Lars Coenen () and Jerker Moodysson ()
Additional contact information
Lars Coenen: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Jerker Moodysson: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper presents a study of the pre-history and evolution of a regional innovation system initiative supporting activities at the intersection of traditional food production and modern biotechnology. Drawing on established ideas on the triple helix of industry, university and government and its impact on innovative capacity (as they are formulated in the regional innovation systems approach) and more recently introduced ideas on 'differentiated industrial knowledge bases', the study illustrates how the VINNVÄXT initiative 'Food Innovation at Interfaces' has been formulated and implemented in close dialogue with the actors and activities constituting the system under support. The initiative is thereby a good example of pro-active and fine-tuned regional innovation policy which is referred to as 'constructed regional advantage'. By focusing on a policy initiative targeting the renewal of a mature industry in a declining phase of its life cycle, the paper fills a gap in the literature which so far has dealt mostly with emerging industries at the start of their life cycle. Two detailed cases of food innovation 'at interfaces' are used to illustrate the arguments.

Keywords: Regional Innovation System; biotechnology; knowledge bases; regional innovation policy

JEL-codes: O30; O38

32 pages, December 1, 2008

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200811_Coenen_Moodysson.pdf PDF-file 

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