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Marzo-abril de 2019, vol. 28, núm. 2
Información y comunicación biomédica

Regions, innovation systems, and the North-South divide in Italy

Loet Leydesdorff, Ivan Cucco

This article is available in open access

Abstract: Innovation systems are not bound by administrative or political boundaries. Using information theory, we measure innovation-systemness as synergy among size-classes, postal addresses, and technological classes (NACE-codes) of firm-level data collected by Statistics Italy at different scales. Italy is organized in twenty regions, but there is also a traditional divide between the North and the South of the country. At which levels is how much innovation-systemness indicated? The greatest synergy is retrieved by considering the country in terms of Northern and Southern Italy as two sub-systems, with Tuscany included as part of Northern Italy. We suggest that separate innovation strategies could be developed for these two parts of the country. The current focus on regions for innovation policies may to some extent be an artifact of the statistics and EU policies. In terms of sectors, both medium- and high-tech manufacturing (MHTM) and knowledge-intensive services (KIS) are proportionally integrated in the various regions.

Keywords: Innovation systems; Innovation policies; Triple helix; Synergy; Regions; Administrative boundaries; Economic divide; Italy.