Policy capacities for new regional industrial path development – The case of new media and biogas in southern Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Over the past few years, a growing body of work in economic geography and innovation studies has enhanced our understanding of forms and determinants of regional industrial path development. The importance of policy, however, has received limited attention and accordingly, the role of policy for the emergence and development of new regional industrial growth paths remains largely unexplored. This paper takes an institutional perspective and suggests that the regional innovation system approach can contribute to conceptualising and analysing the role of policy for new regional industrial path development. We argue that in order to turn regional preconditions into new growth paths, regional innovation systems require strong policy capacities, consisting of formal and governance capacities. In the empirical part, we analyse the emergence and further development of two new growth paths in the region of Scania in southern Sweden, namely biogas and new media. Based on personal interviews with policy makers, representatives from knowledge and supporting organisations and firms as well as a document analysis, we investigate how policy interventions have influenced the rise and evolution of these two industries. We show that in both cases, policy-led initiatives have played an important role in enabling new path development. We find that policy can play multiple roles in nurturing and maintaining new growth paths and that these are closely interlinked with particular policy capacities of regional innovation systems.


  • Hanna Martin
  • Roman Martin
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social and Economic Geography


  • Innovation studies, economic geography, Innovation system, Industrial management, biogas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-536
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number3
Early online date2016 Aug 31
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1
Publication categoryResearch

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