5th Triple Helix Conference. 18-21 Mayo 2005
This research, following the Regional Innovation Systems and the Industrial Districts theoretical approaches, explores the innovation capacity of the two most important ceramic tile industrial districts in Europe, the Italian district (Sassuolo) and the Spanish district (Castellon). In both districts innovation is to play a definitive role in allowing companies to maintain their competitiveness in a globalising market. Our analysis shows: Firstly, a similar level of competition within the districts of both countries but a far weaker cooperation in the Spanish district compared to the Italian. Secondly, that the scarcity of technology and advanced services providers in the Spanish district relegates it to a follower role in the adoption process of innovation. And thirdly, that the presence in the Italian district of horizontal technology enterprises raises the innovative tension because of the technology diffusion across districts and it is favoured by the mobility of qualified workers.