Papers in Economic Geography and Innovation Studies

PEGIS.2022/04 Nico Pintar, Jürgen Essletzbichler: Complexity and smart specialization: Comparing and evaluating knowledge complexity measures for European city-regionsABSTRACT: Recent work in economic geography posits that regional diversification into related and complex knowledge fields boosts innovative output and economic development. While the theoretical arguments on the importance of complex knowledge creation for regional development are widely accepted and scholars have started using measures of knowledge complexity to inform policy decisions in the context of the EU’s smart specialization programme, the application of the theoretical concept to regional development policy raises a number of questions: First, what concept of knowledge complexity should be employed for policy analysis? Second, how is complexity operationalized empirically? Third, which alternative empirical operationalization of knowledge complexity should be used for policy purposes? This paper offers the first systematic comparison of three theoretically sound measures of knowledge complexity and related 48 empirical operationalizations of those three complexity indices based on regional patent data from 1996-2017 for a consistent set of 197 European metropolitan regions. The results show that the choice of complexity measure and emprical operationalization produces widely varying results and that more theoretical and conceptual work on knowledge complexity is required before it can be employed widely for policy purposes, and in particular, to inform smart specialization policies., 2022
PEGIS.2022/03 Jack L. Harris, Max-Peter Menzel: The Silicon Valley – Singapore Connection: The Role of Institutional Gateways in Establishing Knowledge PipelinesABSTRACT: The literature on clusters emphasizes the necessity to integrate external knowledge to maintain their viability. This task, however, is aggravated by institutional differences between clusters. The central question for accessing diverse knowledge then is how to mitigate institutional differences between clusters. We propose that “institutional gateways” between clusters circumvent institutional barriers. Institutional gateways provide a configuration that consists of institutions from both clusters. This hybrid institutional configuration helps to mitigate institutional and cognitive distances. As an example, we explore the ‘Block71SF’ co-working space in San Francisco. Block71SF was set up by the Singapore government as an extension of Block71 in Singapore., 2022
PEGIS.2022/02 Tim Fraske: Change agency and path creation toward future transport systems: A case study of the emerging urban air mobility in GermanyABSTRACT: The transformation toward the fourth industrial revolution leads to multi-scalar changes for existing socio-technical systems. “Smart mobility” innovations, such as autonomous vehicles or the Internet of Things, challenge existing transport regimes. This raises questions regarding the embeddedness and accessibility of these innovations and the interdependence of practices and structural change. The goal of this paper is to gain deeper insights into the interplay of change agency and path creation in early Mobility 4.0 evolution. The academic debate on the geography of transitions has gained much attention in recent years, but the role of new emerging industries in the context of digitalization remains understudied. This case study investigates the emerging urban air mobility sector in Germany, including qualitative insights from companies and five regional cluster initiatives. This paper finds that cross-sectoral and institutional dynamics toward the creation of use-cases challenge the socio-technical integration of this new mobility form and create an ambivalent environment of insecurity and high expectations. A few innovative entrepreneurs play a pioneering role in technological development. While EU proposals guide the creation of formal institutions, place-based leadership emerges alongside existing regional preconditions. When analyzing the interconnection between structural change and agency, geographers must emphasize the necessity of a more technologically differentiated and actor-centered approach., 2022
PEGIS.2022/01 Maximilian Benner: Legitimizing path development by interlinking institutional logics: The case of Israel's desert tourismABSTRACT: The legitimation of new industrial regional paths has become a crucial issue in path development since it touches the institutional foundations of regional evolution. In institutional theory, legitimacy is considered a critical fundament of institutionalization, and the institutional logics perspective draws attention to the different material and symbolic sources of legitimacy. Drawing on neo-institutional sociology, this article proposes a nuanced understanding of legitimation dynamics in regional industrial path development by arguing that new paths are legitimized by interlinking different institutional logics through symbolic constructions used for meaning-making such as future-oriented visions. Empirical examples from two tourism destinations in Israel’s Negev desert illustrate this mechanism., 2022
PEGIS.2021/10 Maximilian Benner: System-level agency and its many shades: How to shape the system for path development?ABSTRACT: Agency has become one of the critical themes in path development and several typologies of agency have been proposed. The notion of system-level agency has attracted particular attention. However, existing typologies of agency suffer from conceptual limitations and the many shades of system-level agency in the system of path development remain largely unclear. This article discusses the limitations of existing typologies of agency in path development, clarifies the notion of the system and its functions, and proposes a multidimensional framework that brings together the multiple shades of how agents shape paths along various angles, system functions, and a multiscalar perspective., 2021
PEGIS.2021/09 Maximilian Benner: Revisiting path-as-process: A railroad track model of path development, transformation, and agencyABSTRACT: In the path development literature, the path-as-process perspective conceptualizes the emergence, evolution, transformation, and decline of regional industries in the long term. However, critical questions about the role of agency in and between episodes of path development and transformation remain open. This article argues that we should see path development as a long-term sequence that includes stretches of path development interrupted by occasional switches of transformation that are driven by changing patterns of agency. This railroad track model focuses attention on how and why the mix of agency changes at critical junctures between path development episodes., 2021
PEGIS.2021/08 Maximilian Benner: A tale of sky and desert: Translation and imaginaries in transnational windows of institutional opportunityABSTRACT: Institutional change in regional economies is affected by macro-level developments such as alignment with the EU and its markets. Countries in Europe’s Eastern and Southern neighborhood provide a case for gradual economic integration into the EU’s economic space. Processes of alignment and mutual market liberalization shape the macro-level conditions for regional development in neighborhood countries but do so in variegated ways as they are translated into the regional institutional context. Building on literature on institutional entrepreneurship, cultural political economy, and actor-network theory, this article argues that EU alignment opens a transnational window of institutional opportunity for agents to shape regional development through translation. In this often contested translation process, institutional entrepreneurs draw on imaginaries, narratives, and visions and shape them. The paper argues that imaginaries are a useful analytical device to understand the interaction between agency and structure in institutional change. The empirical case of tourism in Israel's Southern Negev illustrates the impact of the country's integration into the EU's external aviation policy at the regional tourism sector as well as the strategies of institutional entrepreneurs to use this transnational window of institutional opportunity to promote diverse patterns of institutional change based on multiple imaginaries., 2021
PEGIS.2021/07 Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer: The role of powerful incumbent firms: shaping regional industrial path development through change and maintenance agencyABSTRACT: This article seeks to advance perspectives on powerful incumbent firms in (new) regional industrial path development. Drawing on recent insights from Transition Studies, it is argued that this – hitherto often neglected – actor group plays a crucial role in shaping the pace and direction of regional path development through agency oriented towards both change and maintenance. Building on systemic perspectives at the intersection of evolutionary economic geography and innovation studies, particular emphasis is placed on incumbent firms’ interventions to reconfigure or stabilize their surrounding regional innovation system to support their intentions. To this end, this article examines how incumbents exert their influence through various forms of power as means by which they promote or hinder regional industrial change. Empirically, the role of incumbent firms in a traditional automotive industry in Austria is investigated. It is shown how they leverage their power to propel the industry’s digitalization and suppress its decarbonization., 2021
PEGIS.2021/06 Huiwen Gong, Robert Hassink, Cassandra Wang: Strategic coupling and regional resilience in times of uncertainty: the industrial chain chief model in Zhejiang, ChinaABSTRACT: The question of how regions can remain competitive and resilient in times of uncertainty is a central concern for economic geographers. To date, two key concepts— strategic coupling and regional economic resilience—have been used separately to study regional economic dynamics in times of uncertainty. Through a careful examination of the industrial chain chief model in Zhejiang Province, this paper argues that both concepts are essential and should be combined in a coherent manner to better explore the topic of interest. Moreover, it is pointed out that the existing conceptualization of the two concepts suffers from some limitations and a reconceptualization of the two key concepts is needed if economic geographers are to make policy recommendations to local policy-makers., 2021
PEGIS.2021/05 Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer, David Doloreux, Richard Shearmur, Michaela Trippl: When history does not matter? The rise of Quebec’s wine industryABSTRACT: This article contributes to the debate on new regional path development, proposing an analytical framework that accounts for new industries arising almost ex nihilo in places with weakly developed preconditions. The paper explores how seemingly adverse initial conditions can be translated into a new development path over time and casts light on the interplay between structure and agency in such settings. We find that new path development processes are not necessarily conditioned by past trajectories or by prior regional and technological capabilities, but can be initiated by forward-looking, entrepreneurial pioneers and consolidated by actors who develop the wider institutional and organizational structures to facilitate further growth of the new industry. We study the case of the wine industry in Southern Quebec, which emerged despite weakly developed preconditions and developed into a fully established, legitimized and supported path over the past forty years., 2021
PEGIS.2021/04 Shuaijun Xue, Robert Hassink: Combinatorial knowledge bases, proximity and agency across space: the case of the high-end medical device industry in ShanghaiABSTRACT: Recently the knowledge base (KB) concept has been extended with combinational knowledge bases (CKB) in order to overcome the dichotomy between analytical, synthetic and symbolic KB. So far, however, empirical studies on these CKB have insufficiently focused on multi-scalar mechanisms, which is a gap we would like to fill with the help of this paper. Therefore, it aims at analyzing CKB from a proximity, agency and multi-scalar perspective. Through interviews with high-end medical device companies from Shanghai, findings show that, first, in this local industry a combination of analytical and synthetic knowledge prevail. Secondly, knowledge interactions differ at different spatial scales, which is strongly related to the characteristics of the local KB and the position of local knowledge in the global industrial knowledge value chain. Thirdly, in this industry cognitive proximity is the key factor facilitating combinatorial knowledge interactions at all spatial scales. Institutional and geographical proximity are obviously more important at the local scale. Fourthly, concerning the effect of agencies on proximities, place leadership and institutional entrepreneurship work respectively at the local and national level, while the role of innovative entrepreneurship is observed at all levels., 2021
PEGIS.2021/03 Marta Gancarczyk, Marta Najda-Janoszka, Jacek Gancarczyk, Robert Hassink: Exploring Regional Innovation Policies and Regional Industrial Transformation from a Co-Evolutionary Perspective: The Case of Małopolska, PolandABSTRACT: The Małopolska region in southern Poland has a long tradition of mature and heavy industries, but more recently also new, unrelated industries have been emerging in this region, such as knowledge intensive business services. At the same time, innovation policies have been decentralizing over the last 20 years in Poland and in the Małopolska region, therefore, the effects of regional innovation policies on regional industrial transformation (RIT) have grown. Against this background, the paper aims to explain the role of regional innovation policies in regional industrial transformation from a co-evolutionary perspective. For this purpose, it extends the common co-evolutionary theoretical framework with interaction mechanisms, i.e. the processes underlying policy-industry mutual influences, and thus explaining their co-evolution. Interaction mechanisms allow us to better understand the major directions in industrial development and in policy approach, namely, the exploitation of extant capabilities and the exploration of new economic areas. The role of innovation policy in the Małopolska RIT can be described as predominantly assisting and adjusting to industrial change with some level of proactive promotion of new industrial opportunities. Overall, we observe reciprocal relationships with regional industry rather than unidirectional influence of this policy. We find this dynamic interaction a positive phenomenon that enabled the evolution of policy to balance the exploitative and explorative approaches to industrial development., 2021
PEGIS.2021/02 Samson Afewerki, Asbjørn Karlsen: Policy mixes for just sustainable regional development in industrially overspecialized regions: the case of two Norwegian petro-maritime regionsABSTRACT: Just sustainable regional development has become an all-important policy agenda in regions overspecialized in carbon-intensive industries. Just sustainable regional development requires coherent innovation policies and legitimacy to simultaneously address long-term and short-term climate, social and economic goals. We argue that an evolutionary perspective emphasizing institutional legacies (and the concept of institutional layering) is productive for analysing and designing just and sustainable policies. Drawing on a longitudinal case study of two Norwegian oil and gas-dependent regions, we shed light on the multi-scalar policy mixes and underlying political dynamics designed to shape the process. We reveal that, underpinned by the Norwegian tripartite cooperation model, the focus of the multi-scalar policy mixes in the regions has been primarily on the decarburization of the sector, rather than on its active phase-out, along with the development of the renewable energy sector, mainly through technology-push instruments. While supporting business as usual in the short term, this approach may facilitate the growth of the emerging renewable technologies and thereby meet the long-term ‘life-after-oil’ ambitions, reducing the negative impacts of transitions. In light of the urgency for a sustainability transition, we make policy recommendations that can contribute to rapid regional low-carbon transitions while ensuring long-term job security., 2021
PEGIS.2021/01 Sebastian Rohe, Jannika Mattes: What about the regional level? Regional configurations of Technological Innovation SystemsABSTRACT: Regional innovation policy must not only strive for economic competitiveness, but also push novel and more sustainable technological solutions. The complex and multi-scalar process of developing and diffusing new technologies is captured by the Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) frame-work. However, the approach neglects regional variety and lacks a nuanced and systematic under-standing of how technological change plays out differently across places. We thus complement TIS with insights from the literature on Regional Innovation Systems (RIS), which offers manifold com-parisons and typologies of institutional contexts for regional innovation. We argue that three ideal-typical configurations – localist-grassroots, interactive-networked, and globalist-dirigiste – exist at the intersection between a technological and specific regional innovation system. We discuss how these regional configurations contribute differently to the development and functioning of the overall TIS and point to the innovation-related challenges they are confronted with. We illustrate our conceptual arguments with a brief comparative case study on three regions in the TIS for on-shore wind energy. Overall, this paper contributes to the literature on the geographies of innova-tion and sustainability transitions, introduces a framework for analyzing regional variety in TIS, and enables more fine-grained and place-specific policy interventions directed at fostering specific technologies at the regional level., 2021
PEGIS.2020/02 Michaela Trippl, Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer, Elena Goracinova, David A. Wolfe: Automotive regions in transition: preparing for connected and automated vehiclesABSTRACT: The advent of ‘connected and automated vehicles’ (C/AV) is posing substantial transformation challenges on traditional automotive regions across the world. This paper seeks to examine both conceptually and empirically how automotive regions reconfigure their industrial and support structures to promote new path development in the C/AV field. Drawing on recent conceptual advances at the intersection of evolutionary economic geography and innovation system studies, we develop an analytical framework that casts light on how regional preconditions provide platforms for asset modification that underpin different routes of transformation. We distinguish between a reorientation route and an upgrading route. The framework is applied to a comparative analysis of industrial path development and system reconfiguration towards C/AV in two automotive regions, namely Ontario (Canada) and the Austrian automotive triangle., 2020
PEGIS.2020/01 Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer, Lea Fuenfschilling, Johan Miörner, Michaela Trippl: Reconsidering structural conditions: Institutional infrastructure for innovation-based industrial path renewalABSTRACT: This paper aims to develop a more elaborated understanding of innovation-based renewal of industries from a structural perspective. Current perspectives offer rather simplistic views on the role of structural conditions in regional industrial renewal process. In order to overcome this limitation, we draw on the concept of ‘institutional infrastructure’ to examine the ensemble of structural elements for industrial path development in regional contexts. The institutional infrastructure and its conditions, i.e. its elaboration and coherence, are seen as important factors for industrial change. To illustrate this approach, we investigate renewal processes in two traditional automotive regions in Austria and Sweden., 2020
PEGIS.2019/17 Asbjørn Karlsen, Henrik Brynthe Lund, Markus Steen: Cluster absorptive capacity: Two types of intermediaries in technology upgrading of manufacturing clustersABSTRACT: Specialized clusters are based on common knowledge resources and other positive externalities, but it is unclear how such resources develop over time. A case in point is how extra-cluster knowledge linkages are integrated into intra-cluster linkages by firms or other actors and subsequently shared with other cluster actors. To advance the understanding of cluster dynamics and renewal through knowledge exchange, the authors develop a refined conceptualization of cluster absorptive capacity by addressing the role of agency. Intermediaries link clusters to external knowledge sources and contribute to dissemination of knowledge among cluster firms, and the authors find this perspective relevant because manufacturing firms are facing rapid changes in technology platforms, such as those associated with ‘Industry 4.0’. Additionally, the authors analyse processes of knowledge exchange and technology upgrading of two mature manufacturing clusters in Norway. The results show that the processes are supported by knowledge institutions and facilitated by cluster organizations in quite different ways. In the light of the theoretical discussions and findings from the two case studies, the authors propose a novel conceptual framework that combines two types of intermediaries and two types of absorptive capacities for investigating the role of non-firm actors in contrasting types of clusters., 2019
PEGIS.2019/16 Franz Tödtling, Michaela Trippl, Alexandra Frangenheim: Policy options for green regional development: applying a production and application perspectiveABSTRACT: Green and sustainable development has received increasing attention in recent years due to challenges emanating from climate change and worsening environmental conditions. Although these are problems of global nature, actions have to be taken often at lower spatial scales, such as local and regional ones. In this paper we focus on innovation and industrial policies and on the regional level, since green development often emerges here and can be supported by respective policies. However, effective policies have to consider that individual regions face different kinds of industrial and environmental challenges for moving towards a ‘greener’ future. This article develops a framework that allows taking such differences into account. Furthermore, we distinguish between the production and application of ‘green technologies’ and consider their spatial nature. We investigate factors and challenges for green regional development and we explore the potential role of policies for different types of regions., 2019
PEGIS.2019/15 Mads Bruun Ingstrup, Max-Peter Menzel: The emergence of relatedness between industries: The example of offshore oil and gas and offshore wind energy in Esbjerg, DenmarkABSTRACT: When investigating the emergence of relatedness between two previously unrelated industries - the offshore oil and gas industry and the offshore wind energy industry in Esbjerg, Den-mark, - we argue that relatedness is a system property, whose emergence should be visible via organizational search processes in the other industry. While network positions were important when companies began explorative searches in the other industry, regular search processes in the other industry coincided with the formation of new organizational arrangements. With these findings in mind, we propose that relatedness emerges when relationships between two industries are institutionalized., 2019
PEGIS.2019/14 Tina Haisch, Max-Peter Menzel: Temporary Markets in a Global Economy: An Example of Three Basel Art FairsABSTRACT: Trade fairs are increasing in importance. The literature on the geography of markets examines their global expansion, but not how geographic proximity might be more vital for some of them. Studies on temporary clusters argue that trade fairs are beneficial for their particular knowledge ecologies, but would lose their function as markets as a result. We investigated trade fairs as markets. We especially looked at how objects, such as market devices that help to assess the value of things, intervene in the construction of these markets. Comparing three art fairs in Basel, our study shows the following: trade fairs are particular events shaped by a proliferation of market devices that do not exist outside the fairs; market devices act to differentiate fairs and create a hierarchy between them; trade fairs produce market devices that connect fairs. Global markets are built upon sequences of temporary, localized markets., 2019
PEGIS.2019/13 Johan Miörner: Contextualizing system agency in new path development: What factors shape regional reconfiguration capacity?ABSTRACT: This paper examines factors shaping the reconfiguration capacity of regional innovation systems (RIS). The concept of ‘system selectivity’ is introduced, referring to factors such as regional imaginaries, power relations and directionality shaping how RIS reconfiguration plays out. The conceptual arguments are illustrated with a comparative case study of industrial change in two Swedish regions (automotive industry in West Sweden and digital games industry in Scania). The findings confirm the influence of system selectivity on agents’ formulation of strategies for RIS reconfiguration and highlight the importance of considering structure-agency dynamics to move beyond the stylized view enabling or constraining RISs., 2019
PEGIS.2019/12 Bjørn T. Asheim, Arne Isaksen, Michaela Trippl: The Role of the Regional Innovation System Approach in Contemporary Regional Policy: Is it still relevant in a Globalised World?ABSTRACT: The Regional Innovation System (RIS) approach has had a significant impact on the design and implementation of regional innovation policies. However, is the regional level still a relevant scale of policy making in a globalised world and can the RIS approach still produce important insights on how to promote regional socio-economic development?, 2019
PEGIS.2019/11 Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer, Johan Miörner, Michaela Trippl: Towards a stage model of regional industrial path transformationABSTRACT: Arguably, the debate on innovation-based structural change in Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG) reflects a strong dichotomy between on-going continuation and radical change of industrial path development. In this paper we argue that radical innovation activities can occur within existing paths without necessarily leading to their dissolution. Departing from a systemic perspective of path development, we propose a stage model of path transformation. We outline how radical change becomes initiated, reinforced and finally consolidated in established industrial paths. Particular attention is devoted to the ways in which multiple actors – influenced by ‘the past’ and driven by visions and expectations (that is, ‘the future’) – exert agency to stimulate asset modification processes that are assumed to underpin path transformation and the reconfiguration of the wider support structures. The framework is applied to the analysis of the automotive industry in West Sweden, which is currently transforming towards the development of self-driving cars., 2019
PEGIS.2019/10 Yijia Chen, Robert Hassink: Multi-scalar knowledge bases for new regional industrial path development: Toward a typologyABSTRACT: The topic of new regional industrial path development has recently received increasing attention in economic geography. The core idea is that actors in a specific region mobilize both intra-regional and extra-regional resources, especially knowledge, to develop a new regional industrial path. However, the extant literature has not yet fully explored how actors in different types of regions mobilize different forms of knowledge at various spatial scales to develop different types of paths. To fill this gap, we establish an analytical framework combining four key theoretical concepts, that is, new regional industrial path development, regional innovation systems, differentiated knowledge bases and multi-scalar knowledge sourcing. Drawing on this framework, we propose a typology distinguishing six scenarios., 2019
PEGIS.2019/09 Henrik Brynthe Lund, Markus Steen: Make at home or abroad? Manufacturing reshoring through a GPN lensABSTRACT: The explorative paper investigates the drivers for the emerging trend of manufacturing reshoring from low- to high-cost locations. To date research on the reshoring phenomenon has been dominated by micro-level analyses of firms in supply chain management and reported in international business literature. To provide a better understanding of the reshoring phenomenon, the authors of the paper employ five key concepts from the global production network (GPN) framework in their analysis. With the multiscalar lens provided by the GPN framework, they find that the implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies is a driver for manufacturing reshoring, but only when matched with key regional assets such as automation knowledge and competence, key human capital, and region-specific manufacturing competence. Additionally, reshoring decisions are influenced by extra-regional factors such as changes in the global economy and market fluctuations. Furthermore, the paper provides a refined conceptualization of strategic coupling processes by including acts of disinvestments and reinvestments performed by actors within global production networks. Accordingly, the authors advocate a more nuanced understanding, defined as partial coupling processes, in contrast to the predominant understanding of coupling processes as ruptured. This refined conceptualization provides enhanced analytical purchase when studying the reshoring phenomenon, as it illuminates the complexity of firms’ production and sourcing strategies and the resulting implications for the economic landscape., 2019
PEGIS.2019/08 Jiří Blažek, Viktor Květoň, Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer, Michaela Trippl: The dark side of regional industrial path development: towards a typology of trajectories of declineABSTRACT: Over the past few years, scholarly debates on new path development have attracted increasing attention within the economic geography literature. This work distinguishes various trajectories of regional and industrial evolution. So far, these evolutionary trajectories have been mainly conceptualised as ‘positive’ forms of path development. However, in reality, many regions are undergoing phases that can be characterised as ‘negative’ trajectories. Despite their potentially detrimental social and political effects, ‘negative’ pathways have to date largely been ignored in the extant literature. Drawing on the adaptive cycle model of socioeconomic systems, we aim to shed light on the ‘dark side’ of path development by developing a typology of what we call ‘pathways of decline’. The paper identifies conceptually three forms of negative pathways, that is, path contraction, path downgrading and path delocalisation and provides empirical illustrations for each of them., 2019
PEGIS.2019/07 Jakob Eder, Michaela Trippl: Innovation in the periphery: compensation and exploitation strategiesABSTRACT: Recent research has challenged the urban bias in economic geography and innovation studies, showing that novelty generation also takes place in peripheral regions. So far, however, analyses focus on how firms innovate despite their unfavourable location and little is said about innovation benefits of peripheral areas. Hence, this article identifies different compensation and exploitation strategies adopted by firms in order to overcome regional innovation constraints and to reap innovation benefits found in the periphery. Drawing on empirical evidence from Austria, our qualitative analysis reveals that innovation in peripheral regions is the outcome of a combination of compensation and exploitation practices., 2019
PEGIS.2019/06 Elena Goracinova, David A. Wolfe: Regional Resilience and the Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector in the Age of Digital DisruptionABSTRACT: The global automotive industry is currently experiencing the greatest disruption it has faced in over a century. The advent of connected, autonomous and electric vehicles and the popularity of ride sharing services are transforming the industry to one that is increasing referred to as transportation as a service (TaaS), transforming the customer experience and potentially shifting the entire industry sector away from private modes of transportation. Substantial uncertainty exists as to whether traditional automotive hubs in Automotive Alley will remain central to the growing digitization of the automotive industry or whether they will be replaced by new geographies with greater strength in digital technologies. This paper explores the extent to which efforts currently underway in the southern Ontario automotive cluster to meet the challenge of digitization in the auto industry are laying the foundations for a process of new path creation or modernization and institutional reconfiguration. The paper argues that the strength of Ontario’s regional innovation system (RIS) and growing OEM R&D investments provide expanding opportunities for the cluster to remain competitive either by 1) firms upgrading or moving up the value chain by strengthening skills and production capabilities; or 2) modernizing on the basis of connected or electric vehicle technologies or organizational innovations. The focus of the study are the current efforts on the part of OEMs to adapt to this rapidly changing technological paradigm and the role played by current federal and provincial policies to intensify regional knowledge linkages. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possible trajectory for the future development of the region’s automotive cluster., 2019
PEGIS.2019/05 Maximilian Benner: Smart specialisation and institutional context: What does it mean for path development?ABSTRACT: The smart specialization approach is the currently dominant concept of industrial and regional policy in the European Union. During its implementation in recent years, the approach generated a wide range of policy experimentation on how to develop smart specialization strategies (RIS3), and how to do so in a participatory public-private dialogue commonly called entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP). Building on theories known from institutional economic geography, this paper argues that the smart specialization exercise is inextricably linked with the institutional context of regional (or national) economies, and that both the RIS3 developed and the preceding EDP have the potential to affect the institutional context. By doing so, drafting and implementing a RIS3 conditions different forms of evolutionary dynamics in a regional economy. The article presents some conceptual thoughts for the relationship between institutions, evolution, and path development within the context of smart specialization, and suggests areas for further research in view of post-2020 cohesion policy., 2019
PEGIS.2019/04 Bjørnar Sæther, Eivind Merok: The Construction and Deconstruction of a Norwegian Forest Industrial Regime 1980-2017ABSTRACT: The evolving paths of natural resource-based industries, such as the forest industries, are volatile to new technologies and changing markets. The volatilities of a Norwegian forest industrial regime are studied in this paper. Private forest owners and two firms have been the key actors in the regime. Since the 1960s and until the early 2000s, these actors and the relations between them defined a national regime of forest industrial evolution. Financialization among forest owners combined with a strategy of debt financed global expansion within newsprint production at the turn of the century initiated the decline of the regime. Managers did not understand the growth of electronic media, and the consequences this would have on the previously successful business model of global capacity management. Lack of innovation and investments combined with cross border rescaling contributed to national deindustrialization of the forest industries. Norwegian pulpwood has become a precondition for continued Swedish forest industrial expansion. The materiality of logs being the basis for two interdependent industrial paths is highlighted as part of the reason behind this rescaling., 2019
PEGIS.2019/03 Markus Grillitsch, Josephine Rekers, Franz Tödtling: When drivers of clusters shift scale from local towards global: What remains for regional innovation policy?ABSTRACT: Industries and regional economies evolve as a result of the interplay between local and non-local factors. Increasing globalization of both production- and innovation activities implies a shift in the relevant scales of interaction from the local towards the global level. This paper is concerned with the implications of such scale shifts for the role of the region and for cluster-related regional policies. It examines what is left of the role of regional settings in fostering economic development when extra-regional drivers of change increase in importance. We investigate this crucial question with two in-depth case studies of the medical technologies sector, in which such scale shifts have been particularly pronounced. Our findings from empirical material collected in Scania/Sweden and Vienna/Austria illustrate the ways in which changes in national and supra-national regulatory frameworks have had a profound impact on the innovation activities of individual firms and the way to develop and launch new products, and subsequently on the regions in which they cluster. Such scale-shifts have on the one hand limited the potential for regional policy to shape the cluster’s path through support for supply-side factors. Yet some critical assets remain local but are increasingly difficult to access. By addressing such barriers to access, regional policy can still strongly affect the opportunities for innovation. Furthermore, in an increasingly open industry system, we see an expanded role for regional policy in supporting firms to access critical assets and sources of innovation found external to the region., 2019
PEGIS.2019/02 Arne Isaksen, Michaela Trippl, Nina Kyllingstad, Jan Ole Rypestøl: Digital transformation of regional industries: The link between new path development, innovation system dynamics and asset modificationABSTRACT: The paper develops a conceptual framework for analysing wide-ranging ‘digital transformation processes’ of regional industries. We regard digital transformation as consisting of three main activities; development of scientific principles, making of digital products and services, and application of these in production and work processes. The paper advocates a comprehensive framework that challenges established economic geography approaches, which propagate firm-based views and centre stage skill and technological relatedness, in interpreting how digital transformation occurs. We discuss the role of institutional environments, focus on other actors besides firms and take a broader view on assets beyond firm capabilities, skills and technological knowledge. The paper thus provides an alternative conceptual framework for understanding digital transformation processes in regional industries, which we illustrate with one example from each of the main ‘digital activities’., 2019
PEGIS.2019/01 Michaela Trippl, Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer, Alexandra Frangenheim, Arne Isaksen, Jan Ole Rypestøl: Green path development, asset modification and agency: towards a systemic integrative approachABSTRACT: Regions across the world are facing to an ever-increasing extent the pressure to find solutions to adverse environmental impacts of economic development. Tackling such challenges requires major restructuring efforts by nurturing new green growth paths and promoting green shifts in mature industries. The paper aims to explore conceptually and based on illustrative empirical examples from the literature how green restructuring unfolds in regions. We propose a systemic integrative approach that distinguishes between various types of green path development and links them to reconfiguration processes of innovation systems. Our framework elucidates how green restructuring and system transformation are related to various types of modifying the region’s asset base and provides insights into the role of agency at the firm and system level in bringing about such changes., 2019
PEGIS.2018/06 Alexandra Frangenheim, Michaela Trippl, Camilla Chlebna: Beyond the 'single path view': Inter-path relationships in regional contextsABSTRACT: Recurrent economic and financial crises, globalisation, digitalisation and climate change are posing major challenges for regional economies to constantly renew their industrial structures. Over the past few years much progress has been made in understanding how new path development unfolds in a regional context. However, most conceptualisations and empirical analyses to date have mainly been focused on one new path or path development activities in one nascent industry only. Potential relationships between emerging paths have been neglected and as a consequence little is known about how new paths shape each other’s evolution. This paper develops a framework to analyse the nature of relationships between multiple new regional growth paths. We suggest that paths are either linked or unlinked and we discuss the role of agency in shaping the relationship between linked paths to be either supportive, competitive or neutral towards each other. We conclude by discussing implications for policy and identifying avenues for future research., 2018
PEGIS.2018/05 Giuseppe Calignano, Rune Dahl Fitjar, Nina Hjertvikrem: Innovation networks and green restructuring: Which path development can EU Framework Programmes stimulate in Norway?ABSTRACT: This paper examines the engagement of different regions in Norway in the EU’s environmental programmes. The aim is to explore the programmes’ potential for supporting green restructuring through branching and new path creation. The paper assesses which regions participate in the programmes, which international networks they build, and which organisations participate in different regions. It compares three regions with different restructuring needs and research capacity – Rogaland, Hordaland and Sør-Trøndelag. Overall, Norwegian organisations participate relatively frequently in the programmes, but private firms play a marginal role. Their partners are mainly in core EU regions. Regional participation in the programmes is a function of research capacity as well as oil dependence. However, in research-oriented regions, research establishments tend to dominate participation, creating potential for restructuring mainly through path creation. In oil-dependent regions, private firms account for a higher share of participants, enhancing the potential for branching. As the former regions participate more, the programme can mainly stimulate path creation., 2018
PEGIS.2018/04 Johan Miörner, Michaela Trippl: Embracing the future: Path transformation and system reconfiguration for self-driving cars in West SwedenABSTRACT: The past years have witnessed a surge of academic interest into how new industrial paths are developed in regions. Transformation processes of existing regional industries have received less attention in recent work. We introduce the notion of ‘path transformation’ to describe a form of path development taking place within mature industries where both input and output factors are substantially altered and investigate how regional innovation systems are tackling challenges related to path transformation processes. Drawing on insights from the regional and technological innovation systems literatures, we develop an analytical framework that aims to elucidate the relation between path transformation and system reconfiguration. The framework suggests that regional system elements are layered or adapted to i) target the build-up of system functions regionally; ii) link up to system functions in other locations, and iii) transplant system functions from elsewhere to the region. The analytical framework is applied to an empirical case study of the transformation of the automotive industry in West Sweden towards self-driving cars. The empirical analysis provides support for the importance of the three types of system reconfiguration suggested by the framework, and emphasises the relevance of different types of resources. Furthermore, it highlights how actors tend to utilise previous networks and positions in global innovation systems rather than turning to the development of system functions regionally as the ‘default option’ of system reconfiguration., 2018
PEGIS.2018/03 Maximilian Benner: Smart specialisation and institutions: Towards a process of institutional discovery and changeABSTRACT: Recent years have seen much experimentation with smart specialization strategies (RIS3) and their entrepreneurial process of discovery (EDP) in European regions. From the point of view of relational and evolutionary economic geography, the EDP can be seen as an opportunity to address institutional questions. This is important because institutions can explain why some policies are eventually successful while others are not. This article argues that the EDP is a vehicle for regional stakeholders and policymakers to discover institutional patterns specific to the context of the regional or national economy, and to define policies either consistent with existing institutions or aiming at institutional change. Doing so is important because designing context-specific regional policies such as a RIS3 requires a deep understanding of the institutional context of the economy. The article proposes a framework to understand and analyze the two roles of the EDP in terms of institutions: First as an institutional discovery process, and second as an institutional change process. The article builds on evidence from empirical case studies in two regions (Lower Austria, Austria and Bolzano-Alto Adige/South Tyrol, Italy) and two small countries (Slovenia and Croatia). The case studies focus on how these regions and countries organized the EDP that eventually led to the definition of their RIS3, and on the institutional dynamics of EDPs in discovering and changing institutions. The article concludes by proposing policy implications that contribute to the present debate on post-2020 EU Cohesion Policy., 2018
PEGIS.2018/02 Robert Hassink, Arne Isaksen, Michaela Trippl: Towards a comprehensive understanding of new regional industrial path developmentABSTRACT: New regional industrial path development is a key concept in economic geography, as it contributes to explaining regional economic inequalities and forms the basis for place-based innovation policies. So far, particularly scholars within the Utrecht school of evolutionary economic geography have pioneered research on this topic. In this paper, we critically discuss their work and conclude that their understanding of path development is too narrow. We develop a future research agenda, which stresses the need to develop a multi-actor and multi-scalar approach, to integrate the future into analyses of path development and to offer a broader view on inter-path relations., 2018
PEGIS.2018/01 Michaela Trippl, Elena Zukauskaite, Adrian Healy: Shaping Smart Specialisation: The Role of Place-Specific Factors in Advanced, Intermediate and Less-Developed European RegionsABSTRACT: This paper examines the ways by which organisational and institutional features of regional innovation systems shape smart specialisation practices in less-developed, intermediate and advanced regions. Drawing on research from 15 European regions, we show that the implantation of smart specialisation creates challenges in all three types of regions. At the same time there is evidence that smart specialisation supports policy learning and system building efforts in less-developed regions and facilitates policy re-orientation and system transformation in more advanced regions., 2018
Contact and Mission Statement