Territorial Innovation Models: Which Consequences in Terms of Policy Design for Peripheral Regions? A Portuguese Perspective

  • Domingos SantosEmail author
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Innovation has been assuming an increasing role in regional policy over the past three decades. Public policies have been moulded by “best practice models” associated with new technologies and successful urban-metropolitan areas. However, the lessons obtained from these examples are seldom convenient to other territorial environments, and less attention has been paid to the role regional policies grounded on the upgrade of the innovation potential are playing in peripheral regions with structural development problems.

The main objectives of this study are to first analyse the main challenges globalization and the knowledge economy bring to those territories. This discussion will be situated in the main theoretical frameworks that may allow a better understanding of the relationship innovation-territory. With an overall view of the Portuguese innovation system and its regional dimensions, insights about the main implications for the design and implementation of territorially embedded innovation policies will be made.


Innovation systems Territorial innovation theories Innovation policy Peripheral regions Portugal 


  1. Almeida, J. (1994). Sistema Regional de Inovação e Competitividade Industrial - o Caso da Península de Setúbal. Lisboa: Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa.Google Scholar
  2. Amin, A., & Thrift, N. (Eds.). (1994). Globalization, institutions and regional development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Asheim, B. T., & Coenen, L. (2005). Knowledge bases and regional innovation systems: Comparing Nordic clusters. Research Policy, 34, 1173–1190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Asheim, B. T., Smith, H. L., & Oughton, C. (2011). Regional innovation systems: Theory, empirics and policy. Regional Studies, 45(7), 875–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bair, J. (2008). Analysing global economic organization: Embedded networks and global chains compared. Economy and Society, 37(3), 339–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balland, P.-A., Boschma, R., & Frenken, K. (2015). Proximity and innovation: From statics to dynamics. Regional Studies, 49, 907–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borrás, S., & Edquist, C. (2013). The choice of innovation policy instruments. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80, 1513–1522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Camagni, R. (2014). The regional policy debate: A territorial, place-based and proximity approach. In A. Torre & F. Wallet (Eds.), Regional development and proximity relations. Cheltenham: Elgar.Google Scholar
  9. Capello, R. (2014). Proximity and regional innovation processes: Is there space for more reflections? In A. Torre & F. Wallet (Eds.), Regional development and proximity relation. Cheltenham: Elgar.Google Scholar
  10. Cappello, R. (1996). Industrial enterprises and economic space: The network paradigma. European Planning Studies, 4(4), 485–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carlsson, B. (2005). Innovation systems: A survey of the literature from a Schumpeterian perspective. In H. Harmusch & A. Pyka (Eds.), The companion to neo-Schumpeterian economics. Cheltenham: Elgar.Google Scholar
  12. CEC. (1997). REGIS – Fourth interim report to EC-DG XII: Report on face to face interviews with regional firms – Aveiro region. Aveiro: University of Aveiro.Google Scholar
  13. Cooke, P. (1996). Building a twenty-first century regional economy in Emilia-Romagna. European Planning Studies, 4(1), 53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cooke, P. (2007). To construct regional advantage from innovation systems first build policy platforms. European Planning Studies, 15, 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cooke, P. (2008). Regional innovation systems: Origin of the species. International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 1(3), 393–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cooke, P., Clifton, N., & Oleaga, M. (2005). Social capital, firm embeddedness and regional development. Regional Studies, 39, 1065–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eurostat. (2015). Eurostat regional yearbook 2015. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  18. Evangelista, R., Iammarino, S., Mastrostefano, V., & Silvani, A. (2002). Looking for regional systems of innovation: Evidence from the Italian innovation survey. Regional Studies, 36(2), 173–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ferrão, J. (1997). Meios inovadores em cidades de média dimensão: uma utopia razoável? O caso de Évora. In J. Ferrão (Ed.), Políticas de Inovação e Desenvolvimento Regional e Local. Lisboa: Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa.Google Scholar
  20. Figueiredo, A. (2007). Regional innovation systems as policy tools in knowledge oriented cohesion policies – The case of Portugal. Paper presented at the Regional Studies Association International Conference. Lisbon: Regions in Focus.Google Scholar
  21. Fujita, M., & Krugman, P. (2004). The new economic geography: Past, present and the future. Papers in Regional Science, 83(1), 139–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Garmise, S., & Rees, G. (1997). The role of institutional networks in local economic development – a new model of governance. The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, 12(2), 43–56.Google Scholar
  23. Hauser, C., Tappeiner, G., & Walde, J. (2007). The learning region: The impact of social capital and weak ties on innovation. Regional Studies, 41, 75–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Henderson, D. (2000). EU regional innovation strategies: Regional experimentalism in practice? European Urban and Regional Studies, 7(4), 347–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Henderson, D., & Morgan, K. (1999). Regions as laboratories. The rise of regional experimentalism in Europe. Cardiff: Cardiff University.Google Scholar
  26. Keeble, D., & Wilkinson, F. (1999). Collective learning and knowledge development in the evolution of regional clusters of high technology SMEs in Europe. Regional Studies, 33(4), 295–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Koschatzky, K. (2003). The regionalization of innovation policy: New options for regional change? In G. Fuchs & P. Shapira (Eds.), Rethinking regional innovation: Path dependency or regional breakthrough? London: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  28. Lagendijk, A. (2011). Regional innovation theory between theory and practice. In B. Asheim, R. Boschma, & P. Cooke (Eds.), Handbook of regional innovation and growth. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  29. Landabaso, M. (2003). Clusters and less favored regions: Policy options in planning and implementation. Paper presented at the UK Regional Innovation Network (RINET) Meeting. Stratford-Upon-Avon.Google Scholar
  30. Laranja, M. (2009). The development of technology infrastructure in Portugal and the need to pull innovation using proactive intermediation policies. Technovation, 29(1), 23–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lawson, C., & Lorenz, E. (1999). Collective learning, tacit knowledge and regional innovative capacity. Regional Studies, 33(4), 305–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lundvall, B. A. (Ed.). (1992). National systems of innovation: Towards a theory of innovation and interactive learning. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  33. Maillat, D. (1998). Interactions between urban systems and localized productive systems: An approach to endogenous regional development in terms of innovative milieu. European Planning Studies, 6(2), 118–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Maskell, P., & Malmberg, A. (1999). The competitiveness of firms and regions: “Ubiquitification” and the importance of localized learning. European Urban and Regional Studies, 6(1), 9–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McCann, P., & Ortega-Argilés, R. (2016). Smart specialisation, entrepreneurship and SMEs: Issues and challenges for a results-oriented EU regional policy. Small Business Economics, 46(4), 537–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Morgan, K. (1997). The learning region: Institutions, innovation and regional renewal. Regional Studies, 31(5), 491–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Morrison, A. (2008). Gatekeepers of knowledge within industrial districts: Who they are, how they interact. Regional Studies, 42(6), 817–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mota Campos, M. I. & Silva, M. R. (1997). Política de inovação em regiões industriais atrasadas. Paper presented at the IV Encontro Nacional da APDR. Covilhã: Universidade da Beira Interior.Google Scholar
  39. Moulaert, F., & Sekia, F. (2003). Territorial innovation models: A critical survey. Regional Studies, 37(3), 289–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nicolau, I. (2001). Trajectórias de inovação e ciclo de vida da indústria - O distrito industrial de Alcanena. In C. Antonelli & J. Ferrão (Eds.), Comunicação, Conhecimento Colectivo e Inovação - as Vantagens da Aglomeração Geográfica. Lisboa: Instituto de Ciências Sociais.Google Scholar
  41. OECD. (2011). Regions and innovation policy. Paris: OECD Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. OECD. (2013). OECD reviews of innovation policy: Sweden 2012. Paris: OECD Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pires, A. R., Rodrigues, C., & Castro, Eduardo e Esteves, Carlos. (2000). Construção de uma Estratégia de Inovação para a Região Centro. Aveiro: CEIDET-UA.Google Scholar
  44. Prange, H. (2008). Explaining varieties of regional innovation policies in Europe. European Urban and Regional Studies, 15, 39–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Putnam, R. D. (1993). The prosperous community – Social capital and public life. The Americam Prospect, 13, 35–42.Google Scholar
  46. Santos, D. (2000). Innovation and territory: Which strategies to promote regional innovation systems in Portugal? European Urban and Regional Studies, 7(2), 147–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Santos, D. (2003). Política de inovação: filiação histórica e relação com as políticas de desenvolvimento territorial. Revista Portuguesa de Estudos Regionais, 3, 25–40.Google Scholar
  48. Santos, D. (2009). Teorias de inovação de base territorial. In J. S. Costa & P. Nijkamp (Eds.), Compêndio de Economia Regional - Teoria, Temáticas e Políticas. Cascais: Principia.Google Scholar
  49. Santos, D. (2012). Dinâmicas Territoriais de Inovação no Arco Urbano do Centro Interior: O Caso do Setor Têxtil-Confeções. V.N. Famalicão: Húmus.Google Scholar
  50. Santos, D., & Caseiro, N. (2015). The challenges of smart specialization strategies and the role of entrepreneurial universities: A new competitive paradigm. In L. Farinha, J. Ferreira, H. Lawton-Smith, & S. Bagchi-Sen (Eds.), Handbook of research on global competitive advantage through innovation and entrepreneurship. Hershey: IGI Global.Google Scholar
  51. Santos, D., & Simões, M. J. (Eds.). (2008). Dinâmica Socioeconómica da Fileira da Madeira em Concelhos do Pinhal Interior Sul: uma Análise através do Conceito de Meio Inovador. Covilhã: Universidade da Beira Interior.Google Scholar
  52. Santos, D., & Simões, M. J. (2014). Regional innovation systems in Portugal: A critical evaluation. Investigaciones Regionales, 28, 37–56.Google Scholar
  53. Shearmur, R. (2011). Innovation, regions and proximity: From neo-regionalism to spatal analysis. Regional Studies, 45(9), 1225–1243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Simões, M. J. (Ed.). (2008). Dos Projectos às Regiões Digitais: Que Desafios? Lisboa: Celta.Google Scholar
  55. Simões, M. J., & Santos, D. (2008). Challenges in the digital cities and regions in Portugal. In P. Cunningham & M. Cunningham (Eds.), Collaboration and knowledge economy – Issues, applications, case studies. Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
  56. Storper, M. (1995). The resurgence of regional economies, ten years later: The region as a nexus of untraded interdependencies. European Urban and Regional Studies, 2, 191–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Storper, M., & Scott, A. J. (1995). The wealth of regions. Market forces and policy imperatives in local and global contexto. Futures, 27(5), 505–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tödtling, F., & Trippl, M. (2005). One size fits all? Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach. Research Policy, 34, 1203–1219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Torre, A., & Wallet, F. (2014). Introduction. The role of proximity relations in regional and territorial development processes. In A. Torre & F. Wallet (Eds.), 2014, regional development and proximity relations, new horizons in regional science. London: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  60. Tura, T., & Harmaakorpi, V. (2005). Social capital in building regional innovative capability. Regional Studies, 39, 1111–1125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Veltz, P. (1996). Mondialisation, Villes et Territoires. L’Économie de l’Archipel. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Polytechnic Institute Castelo BrancoCastelo BrancoPortugal
  2. 2.CICS.NOVA – Interdisciplinary Centre of Social SciencesLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations