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By Riccardo Crescenzi

This ebook investigates the EU’s local progress dynamics and, particularly, the explanations why peripheral and socio-economically deprived parts have repeatedly did not meet up with the remainder of the Union. It indicates that the potential of the knowledge-based development version to convey its anticipated merits to those components crucially will depend on tackling a selected set of socio-institutional elements which prevents innovation from being successfully translated into monetary progress. The publication takes an eclectic method of the territorial genesis of innovation and neighborhood progress via combining assorted theoretical strands into one version of empirical research protecting the total EU-25. An in-depth comparative research with the USA can be integrated, supplying major insights into the special good points of the ecu strategy of innovation and its territorial determinants. The proof produced within the booklet is largely utilized to the research of ecu improvement policies.

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15). 7 Cantwell and Iammarino (2003) make this specificity explicit when stating that “proper regional systems of innovation are found only in a few well-defined areas: in most regions systemic interactions and knowledge flows between relevant actors are simply too sparse and too weak to reveal the presence of systems of innovation at work” (p. 5). 6 28 2 Theoretical Framework: A Spatial Perspective On Innovation However, these specificities of the innovation systems approach do not prevent us from including the “lesson” of such a model in a broader theoretical framework able to deal with more general empirical analysis (Fig.

7 The Success of the “Core”: Where Proximities, Relational Networks and Institutions Generate Local “Buzz” The mechanisms discussed above provide us with a clear framework for the understanding of the economic success of leading cities and industrial agglomerations. The synergic co-existence of cognitive, organizational, social, and institutional proximities brought together in a reduced geographical environment and framed into a favourable socio-institutional environment gives rise to local “buzz”.

However, these data do not provide an exhaustive picture of the geography of innovation of the EU. When regions are considered and the innovation index is calculated on nationally weighted regional data, significant disparities are still observable. In Fig. 1 the distribution of the innovation index is plotted, clearly showing a differentiated pattern in regional innovative effort: some regions “produce” more innovation than others. Furthermore, the relationship between such differentiated innovative efforts and regional growth pattern is apparent and this is probably one of the reasons that have led policy-makers to underestimate the importance of the other factors that interact 4 Slovenia ranks 26th out of the 162 countries considered in Archibugi and Coco 2004 when applying their index.

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