Regional Innovation Systems

The Business Unit is coordinated by Dr. Thomas Stahlecker.

Projects of the Business Unit Regional Innovation Systems

The Business Unit Regional Innovation Systems analyses the systemic aspects of innovation- and technology-oriented regional development. The background to these research activities is the insight that regions and subnational functional spaces are assigned considerable (political) significance with regard to improving competitiveness, employability, technological performance and innovation. Regions with their specific systemic features represent interesting points of reference for the business activities of SMEs but also large companies. The European, national and regional innovation and structural policy has recognised the regional dimension of innovation-based competitiveness and is supporting this with different instruments and measures. In light of this and in the sense of evidence-based policy consultation, the Business Unit addresses the following main areas:

  • Preparing analyses of regional potential and networks and analyzing the underlying processes and structures: development and application of regional innovation indicators and measurement concepts; technology, innovation and competition profiling; analysis and evaluation of regional potentials, networks and cooperative relations, regional benchmarks  

  • Working on specific topics and issues with regard to systemic aspects of regional innovation: structures and dynamics of regional clusters and innovation networks, smart specialization as a “new” paradigm of innovative regional development in Europe, cooperation and new models of institutionalised knowledge and technology transfer, universities and regions, identifying technology and innovation trends 

  • Consultation and services for regional actors and decision-makers in the field of innovation and technology policy: analysis and evidence-based evaluation of policy strategies and instruments, monitoring and evaluating policy measures, analysis of the regional implementation and organization of measures, national and international policy comparisons, analysis of multi-level governance structures. 

We use quantitative and qualitative empirical methods from spatial science, the social sciences and economics in our studies. These include the development and application of suitable indicators, cluster and network analyses, creating regional typologies, benchmark analyses and monitoring and evaluation concepts. Multiple-perspective approaches and the combination of different methodological approaches are core principles of our empirical research.