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On the governance of regional innovation systems. Case studies from four city-regions within the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia: Aachen, Dortmund, Duisburg and Düsseldorf

By Carsten Schierenbeck


This thesis investigates the governance of so-called regional innovation systems. It studies regional and sub-regional dynamics in building institutional environments conducive to innovation. The research employs a qualitative research methodology that comprises semi-structured interviews with 47 policy-makers, practitioners and academics in four case studies of city-regions within the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia: Aachen, Dortmund, Duisburg and Düsseldorf. It identifies factors influencing the systemic-ness of business and innovation support, particularly within the triple helix of university-industry-government relations. It argues that important sub-regional governance dynamics are neglected by many contemporary regional conceptualisations and proposes considering local innovation systems as an alternative. Hence, it scrutinises the appropriateness of the current academic conceptualisations and, in particular, criticises their value in terms of operational guidance. The thesis argues that certain regional innovation policies and governance dynamics fail to constitute a regional innovation system and calls for organisational innovation in the framework structure to revive or maintain inter-institutional dynamics and cooperative relationships towards achieving a coherent, holistic and strategic policy approach. This thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of how to make a regional innovation system work and what important aspects are to be considered for implementing innovation policy – including cluster policy – successfully

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, HT Communities. Classes. Races, JS Local government Municipal government
Year: 2010
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  1. (2002). 25.02.2002). Innovation Policy Studies: Status report of latest results, and forthcoming tasks. Retrieved 03.02.2006, from
  2. (1996). Aachener Gesellschaft für Innovation und Technologietransfer mbH.

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