50 Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio. 27-29 Octubre 2010
In this article we apply the functions of innovation systems framework to assess the appropriateness of this framework to characterise innovation activity in a mature sector. Functions analysis is based on idea that a well functioning innovation system requires that a number of key activities takes place. If this occurs, output of innovations is higher. Our analysis provides a deeper understanding of the role of innovation as a strategic option in a mature industry in the EU, in the context of globalisation. By applying this new theoretical approach to study innovation, highlighting the functions that the system requires should be fulfilled, we shown the constraints, inertias, challenges and opportunities that the innovation system of the tile in Castellón faces. The results show that the functional approach allows higher flexibility in order to recognise and analyse the opportunities and constraints that a given innovation system presents. As different agents and actors can adopt different roles it is important to retain flexibility in the recognition of the main functions rather than in categories of agents. Therefore, this study also demonstrates the utility of applying this approach outside the technological studies where it was developed.