Tödtling F. & Trippl M. (2005) One size fits all?: Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach. Research policy, 34(8), 1203-1219.
Innovation has moved to the foreground in regional policy in the last decade. Concrete policies were shaped by “best practice models” derived from high-tech areas and well performing regions. These are often applied in a similar way across many types of regions. Here an attempt is made to show that there is no “ideal model” for innovation policy as innovation activities differ strongly between central, peripheral and old industrial areas. In this paper we analyse different types of regions with respect totheir preconditions for innovation, networking and innovation barriers. Based on this classification different policy options and strategies are developed.
Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development
The interview transcript
Our coffee breaks with researchers aim to spread knowledge about regional development and innovation. By sending a camera around the world we present you with different angles and insights on the topic. We ask researchers directly and in a personal manner about their work. We want to make scientific knowledge accessible to all.
Hi, welcome to coffee break with researchers. Today I’m having a coffee break with Franz Tödtling. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development at the Vienna University of Economics. He is an expert on urban and regional development, clusters and innovation systems.
Hello Franz, thank you for accepting my invitation to my coffee
break, how are you doing?
I’m doing fine thank you Lorena for inviting me to this talk.
Today I’m having a really good coffee from Colombia.Which one are you having? I’m having the same as you coming from Colombia and coming from the highlands, very good coffee. That’s great I’m happy you’re having a Colombian coffee. I would like to talk with you today about a central paper in regional development in which you argue that innovation policy needs to be place-based and considered the regional preconditions. Could you please tell me what the paper was about? Yeah, the paper is about the, what is standing in the subtitle, towards a regional differentiated innovation policy.
I did this jointly with Michaela Trippl, my former colleague, and we did this because innovation policies previously were oriented along a best practice model of high-tech regions e.g. Silicon Valley, Cambridge UK or maybe Baden-Württemberg in Germany and we had the feeling that many regions, particularly in Europe, were much more differentiated and needed a more targeted innovation policy. So, what is the main argument of the paper?
The main argument was that first of all we need a different kind of innovation concept. We should base the policy on the different kind of
innovation concept, namely the interactive innovation model where is
the high tech policy model was science-based and along the linear model
and we said a new innovation policy has to be oriented on the interactive
model that takes account of users, suppliers, other sources of knowledge and this interactive nature of innovation and this was particularly relevant for the regional differences that we were going to investigate because the
conditions for high tech regions are not there in every kind of region.
And why do you think this paper became so influential afterwards?
I think it became influential because there was this uniform policy model before and there was a kind of demand for this idea that the policy
should be differentiated between regions because the conditions vary enormously between, for example metropolitan regions, industrial regions, peripheral regions and we developed this idea very
systematically based on a broad literature review. And I think that was
one of the main reasons that it became very influential after a while.
Okay I understand that and what was your main motivation in doing this research?
Actually the immediate motivation was a call to a conference organized by the German Institute for Economic Research the DIW, that was exactly to this topic namely, regional specific innovation policies. It was a large international conference with many scholars and, for this we wrote this paper, but the underlying long-term interest was that we had the feeling that the high-tech regions model did not work for every
And which ones are the main consequences for policy making after
The most important consequences is the fact that innovation policy should not be based on the old linear science-based innovation
model, but should be based on an interactive system oriented innovation
model, where many actors can be the sources of innovation and we refine
various kinds of knowledge types that are relevant and so for the policy
actors this meant that investment in universities in research was not
sufficient because this neglected neglected all these other actors and
sources. So we argued for the policy-makers that we need different
innovation model first of all and second we should look in the regions which kind of innovations barriers are there and then
set up an innovation policy that targets this particular kind of barriers and actors in the specific regions. And we developed this further for three types of regions: metropolitan regions on the one hand industrial regions and peripheral regions, where we investigated at first the main barriers for innovation in those three types of regions and then developed policy strategies for these three types of regions.
I think it’s now very clear why this paper became so influential afterwards. So I thank you once again for having this nice chat
with me and I wish you all the best for your future research and I hope to see you next time. Bye Bye. Thanks a lot and thank you for inviting me to this talk.
Thank you for watching if you are interested in more details of this
research here you can find the link of the academical publication, see you next time bye bye.Tags: barriers, Innovation, innovation policy, Regional