What is it about?

We show for the first time that the industrial districts of Spain and Italy are more innovative than the rest of the local production systems in each country and produce more than 40% of technological innovation. Industrial districts are specialized in small businesses with small expenditures in R&D, and the evidence of their high innovation intensity makes them an alternative model for new place-based innovation policies.

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Why is it important?

In industrial districts, innovation is a place-based process and no single agent controls or determines the innovation process. Acting through public place-based support policies is key to fostering the technological competitiveness of the places by respecting their features and characteristics.


We hope that this article will make the actors and institutions reflect on the way in which technological innovation actually occurs in Spain and Italy and why the current approaches and instruments for promoting innovation through public policies are having such limited effects.

Rafael Boix Domenech
Universitat de Valencia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Searching for “rare diamonds”? Industrial districts and innovation in Spain and Italy, Competitiveness Review An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness, April 2022, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/cr-11-2021-0155.
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