In modern economic growth theory, R&D and the subsequent production of new knowledge are the driving forces for long-term regional growth. Empirical evidence, however, does not always support this popular belief in the regional context. Using a simple growth accounting model, this study examines the role of R&D in regional growth. Estimation results from the proposed models show that knowledge commercialization and retention factors, such as entrepreneurship, university research, human capital, social capital, and industry structure, play significant roles in the regional R&D appropriation mechanism. Findings from this study suggest that R&D policy needs to be designed to take into account other regional factors. Copyright (c) 2009 the author(s). Journal compilation (c) 2009 RSAI.