Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2015/36: Regional Innovation Systems: Past - Presence - Future

Björn Asheim (), Markus Grillitsch () and Michaela Trippl ()
Additional contact information
Björn Asheim: CIRCLE, Lund University; UiS Business School/Centre for Innovation Research, University of Stavanger; BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo
Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University
Michaela Trippl: CIRCLE, Lund University

Abstract: Since its development in the 1990s, the Regional Innovation Systems (RIS) approach has attracted considerable attention from economic geographers, innovation scholars and policy makers. The RIS approach figures prominently in the scientific discourse about the uneven geography of innovation and the factors that shape the knowledge generation and innovation capacities of regions. The aim of this paper is to reflect about the emergence of the RIS approach, the current debate as well as future challenges. This reflection paper is guided by four overarching research questions: What are the origins and theoretical foundations of this approach? What has the RIS approach contributed to innovation studies and economic geography? What are the implications for innovation policy? And what are the recent lines of research and key research challenges in the future? We argue that the contributions of the RIS approach have been substantial. Still the approach has often been applied in a rather static way, more as a heuristic than a coherent theory. The key challenges for current and future research therefore are to move towards a more theory-based, dynamic perspective on RIS, dealing with new path development and the transformation of RIS.

Keywords: regional innovation system; regional innovation policy; regional industrial change; transformation of innovation systems; research challenges

JEL-codes: O30; O38; P48; R10; R58

19 pages, October 2, 2015

Full text files

201536_Asheim_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Torben Schubert ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-01-23 23:35:13.