Inclusive innovation systems for regional development

Session organizers:

Margareta Dahlström (margareta.dahlstrom@kau.se), Ida Grundel (ida.grundel@kau.se), Svante Karlsson (svante.karlsson@kau.se)


The aim with this session is to explore how a more inclusive view on knowledge dynamics can play a role in regional development and regional innovation processes to meet grand challenges such as climate change, economic crises and urbanization. Knowledge dynamics stresses that changes in knowledge and learning are driving forces behind innovation and are increasingly cross-sectoral, multi-actor and multi-scalar. We apply a broad perspective on innovation recognizing that innovation includes goods, services and processes and not only technological development and natural scientific knowledge. Cross-sectoral knowledge interactions draw on different disciplines and expertise, whereas multi-actor knowledge interactions involve different actors such as researchers, producers, consumers, civil society and public policy makers, sometimes defined as quadruple helix innovation systems. Current innovation policies have focused on agglomeration economies closely related to urban areas particularly on the ability to attract human capital and innovative firms, challenging the development of rural regions in Europe. However, other developments are possible. Some economic activities seem to benefit from the resources of rural areas, what we see as an expression of neo-localism understood as an awakened interest in the rural. In addition, the EU has pointed out the development of a bio-economy as a possibility for coastal and rural areas.

We welcome papers that address innovation related to grand challenges and regional development processes. We especially welcome papers working with bio-economy related issues in rural areas, particularly in relation to knowledge dynamics and regional development matters. Such issues include topics in relation to the restructuring of the economy/greening of the economy, policy supporting transitions to a sustainable regional development, bio-economy, circular economy and eco-innovations.