New directions for RIS studies and policies in the face of grand societal challenges

Tödtling, Franz ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1105-5149 and Trippl, Michaela ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9779-4836 and Tesch, Veronika (2021) New directions for RIS studies and policies in the face of grand societal challenges. European Planning Studies. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0965-4313

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Abstract

The regional innovation system (RIS) approach has become a widely used framework for examining the dynamics of innovation across space and for crafting policies to promote the innovation capacity of regions. The dominant focus has been on technological and business innovation enhancing competitiveness and economic growth. In light of persistent environmental and social challenges such as climate change, aging, and growing inequalities, this understanding appears to be too narrow. We argue that the RIS approach requires a critical reassessment for informing the next generation of regional innovation policies. We explore how RIS scholarship and policies could benefit from an alternative understanding of the innovation process. Inspired by recent work on mission-oriented and transformative innovation policies, we develop the notion of a ‘challenge-oriented RIS (CoRIS). In contrast to conventional understandings of a RIS, this approach embraces a more critical view of innovation, captures the directionality of change, opens up to new innovation actors at different territorial scales, and pays more attention to the application side and upscaling of innovation within the region and beyond. Acknowledging that regions vary in their capacity for transformative change and challenge-oriented innovation, the article outlines new directions for place-based innovation policies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Regional innovation systems, grand societal challenges, directionality of change, challenge-oriented RIS
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Multi-Level Governance and Development
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2021 08:23
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2021 08:23
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/100747/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/8337

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