An Exploration of the Influence of Regional Level Institutional Frameworks in the Evolution of an Inter-regional Innovation System

Lalrindiki, Mandy (2019) An Exploration of the Influence of Regional Level Institutional Frameworks in the Evolution of an Inter-regional Innovation System. Doctoral thesis, Waterford Institute of Technology.

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Collaboration across borders is often confined to a limited number of issues and it differs greatly in size, competences, finance and commitment (Klatt and Herrmann, 2011). While cross-border areas are believed to bring together firms, people and knowledge generation institutions that are in geographic proximity, albeit with an international border in between (OECD, 2013), Van den Broek and Smulders (2014) stated that the nation state border itself can act as a barrier to cross-border learning by hindering interaction between actors on both sides of the border. These barriers can also be expected at inter-regional collaboration, especially in the absence of geographical proximity. While the systematic interaction between knowledge producer and knowledge exploitation sub-systems in regional innovation systems stresses the advantage of geographical proximity, the perception of spatial proximity as a competitive advantage raises the question of the possibility of creating an inter-regional innovation system (iRIS) with non-contiguous regions. To address this question, this research studies collaboration among 15 triple helix institutions from four European regions with non-contiguous borders. It explores how inter-regional innovation systems are developed and establishes how institutions in regional institutional frameworks interact with each other at inter-regional level. The research employed a multiphase mixed methods research design which entailed desk research (analysis of the four regions), a three time-point longitudinal survey (n=83), interviews with the collaborative group (CG) (n=17), and a detailed review of 573 emails. The findings indicate that the inter-regional CG was working from the beginning and continued to collaborate effectively, despite their differences, throughout the collaborative process. The major contributions of this research are: (i) while literature suggests that geographical proximity is advantageous for research and innovation activities, the findings of this research suggest that the inter-regional CG established an interaction and collaboration that works effectively over a distance and across non-contiguous borders; (ii) the research identified the three non-spatial forms of proximity (social, cognitive and organisational) that are key determinants for developing a successful iRIS. Thereby, the research suggests that the substitution mechanism of geographical proximity is not with only one non-spatial form of proximity but with all three nonspatial forms of proximities. Another major contribution of this research is the uniqueness of the study’s method, especially the longitudinal aspect, employed to determine changes in perceptions of CG members over time. And finally, as well as providing a deeper awareness of the institutional gaps, which did not hinder the collaboration process for non-contiguous regions and institutions, this study presents a novel and unique framework for inter-regional innovation collaboration, which can be applied to regions and institutions that want to collaborate from a distance and across non-contiguous borders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Inter-regional innovation systems
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Business
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 14:23
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2020 14:50

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