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Do Southern European regions really lag behind in their innovation trends?

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This chapter studies innovation in Southern European countries by applying the concept of territorial patterns of innovation, defined as spatial breakdowns of variants of the knowledge—invention—innovation logical path according to the presence/absence of territorial preconditions for knowledge and innovation creation and attraction. Despite investing less than the EU average in R&D and formal knowledge creation activities, these countries demonstrate substantial innovative activities, especially in the form of process innovation. Their dominant innovation pattern is based on the exploitation of informal knowledge embedded in professional capabilities rather than in formal knowledge produced through research activities. This innovation mode allows regions to achieve high total factor productivity, GDP and employment growth, therefore taking advantage of their innovative patterns much more than is generally thought. The need for smart innovation policies, tailored to regions’ innovation patterns, is finally underlined.




Capello, R., & Lenzi, C. (2017). Do Southern European regions really lag behind in their innovation trends? In Advances in Spatial Science (pp. 77–100). Springer International Publishing.

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