Title: Preconditions for regional networked bioenergy production

Authors: Kirsi Kokkonen; Tuomo Kässi

Addresses: Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FIN-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland ' Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FIN-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: Bioenergy offers a lot of new opportunities for rural regions considering new options for livelihood. The possibilities opened by bioenergy also create needs for building new kinds of regional networks. Although rural areas are commonly considered as opportune grounds for networking, regional development faces many challenges as well. In addition, exploitation of a new technology is controlled by many parties. The paper clarifies the preconditions for a new regional entrepreneurial network around bioenergy production. A possible biogas plant concept in a rural municipality in Eastern Finland is examined, and the preconditions set by social, regional and institutional contexts are brought up and discussed. The research reveals the preconditions which seem the most challenging to fulfil. It is shown that the success of the concept depends on numerous actor-related, regional and institutional factors. The study also highlights the importance of networking in developing new entrepreneurship for rural regions.

Keywords: regional development; networking; rural areas; preconditions; embeddedness; institutional environment; bioenergy production; biogas; animal manure; entrepreneurial networks; entrepreneurship; Finland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIRD.2012.052140

International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 2012 Vol.4 No.6, pp.447 - 465

Available online: 15 Feb 2013 *

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