Regionale Pfadentwicklung in Der Wissensökonomie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ongoing globalisation and the rise of the knowledge economy creates new challenges for regional economic development. In order to cope with these challenges, regions need to strengthen the capacity of existing industries to innovate, but also transform their innovation systems and facilitate the emergence of new industries and development paths. The ability to transform and renew themselves, however, varies considerably between regions. This paper brings together insights from two streams of literature, namely Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG), which sheds lights on the path depended process of economic evolution, as well as Regional Innovation Systems (RIS), which provides a deeper understanding of the regional environment and contextual factors underlying firm innovation. We distinguish between different growth trajectories, from development along established paths (i.e. path extension), branching of exiting industries into related ones (i.e. path renewal), to emergence of entirely new industries (i.e. path creation). Then, we differentiate between types of RIS, namely, organisationally thick & diversified, organisationally thick & specialised, and organisationally thin. These regions differ in the underlying institutional structures, the strength of their knowledge generation systems, the diversity of knowledge bases, and the openness of innovation networks. The paper discusses in a conceptual way the relation between different types of RIS and different forms of path development. We conclude that not all regions have the same potential to renew themselves and embark on new growth paths, which implies different opportunities and challenges for policy makers concerned with regional development.


  • Michaela Trippl
  • Roman Martin
  • Tödtling Franz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)32-36
JournalGeographische Rundschau
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch