Local knowledge anchors for green regional restructuring: The development of the bioeconomy in Lower Austria

Alessio Giustolisi
Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna
Thursday, 2 June 2022 - 11:00

In light of grand societal challenges there is an increasing awareness of the need for transformative innovation policies. So far, the literature on this topic has paid insufficient attention to the role of the regional policy level. Transformative innovation policy approaches have received critique for lacking sensitivity and attention to context-specific factors and for advocating rathe rather ‘place blind’ policies. Over the past few years, scholarly work has begun to give more attention to such policies on a regional scale. With their varied characteristics, regions provide different barriers and opportunities to shape sustainability transitions. As in conventional endogenous innovation policy strategies, external relations play a less important role here. This paper argues that local anchor points obtain a decisive function in bringing new knowledge and impulses to a region. These anchors can combine existing capabilities and regional pre-conditions with external sources to enhance green transformation. This means that policy should target wider institutional dynamics and knowledge flows to cope with barriers and support the potentials in a region. This paper analyses recent diversification processes in Lower Austria by looking into the transformation process for green restructuring. Especially, it assesses how regional knowledge anchors set up by policy can attract, mobilize and diffuse external knowledge in a region to support the development of the bioeconomy in Lower Austria. In addition, it studies how wider institutional dynamics influences such processes. The paper uses a case study approach by looking into the role of two anchors and the specific mechanisms of how external knowledge is sourced, anchored, and diffused in the region to enhance green restructuring.


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
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Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n