Amsterdam Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. 2-3 julio 2007
There is a growing concern on the innovation capacity of mature industrial activities. Often in those mature industries previous successes have partially rested on other types of comparative advantages such as protected markets, environmental regulations or labour cost differentials. With globalization and the entrance of new producers some of those earlier comparative advantages tend to become comparative disadvantages and the challenge of those mature districts depend increasingly on their ability to innovate. The difficulty for the analysis of traditional innovation systems with other analytically close perspectives like National, Regional or Sectoral Innovation System approaches, is that they enforce one limiting dimension (either geographical or sectoral) and tend to infra valuate other elements beyond it. On the other hand, the more holistic functions of innovation systems approach, presents and alternative that attempt to overcome those scope limitations by putting the emphasis on the functions that an innovation system need to perform. In this research we apply the functions of innovation systems framework to assess the appropriateness of this framework to characterise innovation activity in a mature sector as the Spanish tile industry.