Abstract

The literature on innovation and regional economic development shows widespread references to ‘systems’ but relatively little application of systems thinking and problem structuring methods. Innovation models are thus under-theorised with operationally-based maps that link the structure of innovation systems to behaviour and possible policy levers. This conceptual paper addresses this shortfall by applying a systems mapping approach to regional innovation ecosystems which sets out the structural drivers and actor inter-relationships in regional economies with universities acting as focal points for knowledge application. A causal feedback map is hypothesised from participative research and the innovation literature, providing an integrative framework and enabling initial policy discussions about the drivers of regional innovation. Hence this model identifies the virtuous reinforcing behaviours that act endogenously within an innovation ecosystem to drive economic growth. Several policy questions concerning regional innovation and university– industry–government collaboration are surfaced by the model. Finally, possible policy interventions are proposed.

DOI

10.1177/09504222221115977

Publication Date

2022-04-21

Publication Title

Industry and Higher Education

ISSN

0950-4222

Embargo Period

2022-07-26

Organisational Unit

Plymouth Business School

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