Innovation und Governance über Grenzen? : Perspektiven eines grenzüberschreitenden regionalen Innovationssystems ; das Beispiel der roten Biotechnologie in der Euregio Maas-Rhein ; Bd. 1 - 3

  • Innovation across borders? : perspective of a cross border regional innovation system ; the case of red biotechnology in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine

Trienes, Marco; Fromhold-Eisebith, Martina (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der TWTH Aachen University (2013, 2014)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2013


Findings of New Regionalism show that economy an orientation towards innovation becomes crucial to ensure regional development. Regions in which innovative processes are concentrated are marked by intense internal as well as external processes of interaction. As processes of regionalisation and globalisation are taking place simultaneously, the organisations and actors involved in the innovation process are integrated into regional, national and global networks, thereby transcending spatial scales. Regions are also gaining political importance due to such processes of regionalisation and decentralisation. Therefore regions have become units that design regional policies oriented towards fostering innovation in cooperation with higher level elements of the political multi-level system. Regional governance as a hardly institutionalised mode of regulation and cooperation links agents in a horizontal as well as vertical perspective and is a symbol of the increased degree of regional self-governance. In the context of European integration border regions receive increasing attention because of their rise in number as well as their relay function for area development. They symbolize the European idea of cross-border networking but face tough The increasing cross-border interaction reveals national differences in political systems and this open border effect impedes further integration. The integration into national systems and multi-scalar innovation systems leads - especially in border regions - to a tangible external influence. The combination of horizontal and vertical networks, the possibilities of self-governed political decision making, external influence and of spatial as well as integrated s potentials of development result in a very high complexity. As an eclectic concept the regional innovation system integrates those changes in the economic and political system and defines the region as a platform for innovation processes and their governance from an economic, socio-institutional and political perspective. Regional innovation systems consist of an innovation architecture, i. e. of the institutions, companies and supporting organisations that take part in the process of creating, diffusing and exploiting new knowledge. The interaction is embedded into a socio-institutional environment and creates non-codified knowledge. Context as well as content thereby become regionally specific and bound values. Border and Proximity research provide analytical frameworks to analyse the geographical, functional and relational proximities as well as distances across national borders. In this framework, proximity is understood as a high degree of congruence and is associated with high potentials for cross-border development. Relational distance is reflected in cognitive, institutional, social, cultural and organisational attributes, which influence inter-organisational innovation processes and trans-border knowledge exchange as contextual factors. Relational distance hampers trans-border integration and furthers (promotes) spatial fragmentation. Trans-border regional governance has the potential to be a crucial instrument to overcome trans-border barriers if specifically directed strategies of regional and innovation policy are formulated. Apart from horizontal networking it also enables vertical coordination with the national and supranational multi-level system. Regional governance contributes to compensating the deficits in the political and administrative consolidation and in the representation of border regions. In the case of red biotechnology in the border region Euregio Meuse-Rhine it was possible to identify functionally and technologically similar characteristics and developments in the partial spaces. Concerning geographical proximity, the spatial and structural premises and requirements for a symmetrical integration and the creation of knowledge externalities exist. However, only few innovation-based cross-border interactions can be traced. Instead, local and scarcely linked networks have developed at the different science locations. In the past impulses for cross-border cooperation came from Interreg-projects which were part of the EU’s regional policy. However, beyond these impulses no regional cross-border governance structures and processes have been established. A dualism of geographical, functional and technological proximity on the one hand and relational distance as well as cross-border governance deficits on the other can be observed.


  • Division of Earth Sciences and Geography [530000]
  • Chair of Economic Geography [551310]