Governance of Regional Innovation Systems:An Evolutionary Conceptual Model of How Firms Engage
This paper draws upon insights from social science, in order to propose a conceptualization of the governance of a regional innovation system. We are specifically interested in ones initiated through public policy and aiming to stimulate the competitiveness of firms through developing new technological knowledge through collaborative research involving different organizations. We are assuming firms choose whether, when and how to collaborate. This paper proposes a conceptual model, which focuses upon the governance processes at the regional level of this translation of knowledge into innovation and entrepreneurship. The underlying argumentation for the model is built from existing research. We interpret that regional innovation governance depends upon capacity building among three heterogeneous organizations – namely university-government-industry. This represents a case of a polycentric, adaptive, complex and self- organizing system, whereby collective action is supported by norms and institutions in order to develop a region resource pool. Hence, our expectation is that our conceptual model will help explain why different outcomes are possible. The concluding section discusses a future research agenda, by going further to explore how to define and analyze the attributes (mechanisms) enabling governance of a regional innovation system as well as to analyze how public policy and firms engage.