Business innovation modes and their impact on innovation outputs: Regional variations and the nature of innovation across EU regions

Res Policy. 2020 Oct;49(8):104047. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.104047. Epub 2020 Jul 22.


This work contributes to the literature on innovation systems and, in particular, delivers a thorough analysis on business innovation modes across a range of regional contexts. This analysis refers to the strand of literature on STI (Science and Technology-based Innovation) and DUI innovation modes (Innovation based on learning-by-Doing, learning-by-Using, learning-by-Interacting) that have been intensely debated over the past few years. It is a relevant area of research because it discusses the most effective innovation mode adopted by firms and their regions in the context of increasing global competition. In this scientific area, we inquire whether and how the regional context and its specific technological capabilities produce a differentiated impact of STI and DUI innovation modes on innovation outputs, alongside the nature of innovation outputs. In this respect, this study advances the literature on regional innovation systems that have not been analyzed by other scholarly contributions in this strand who have mostly discussed the differentiated impact of innovation modes across individual countries, industries, and business networks. Based on the large heterogeneity of regions across the European geography, we move beyond the set of individual country studies and develop a thorough analysis based on the Community Innovation Survey (CIS 2014) data from the Eurostat office about EU regions. Empirical evidence based on the application of a multiple treatment model suggests that both regional specificities and the nature of innovation matter. In addition, the DUI innovation mode proves to be often more important than expected for most types of innovation output.

Keywords: Europe; Innovation; Regional specificity; STI&DUI innovation modes.