International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development
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International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development (2 papers in press)
Innovation and performance among firms in Finland: The impact of firm-level characteristics by Hannu Littunen, Jari Huovinen Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of firm-level characteristics together with the perfor-mance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) associated with the introduction of different types of innovation (product/process/market/organisational). The paper is based on data from 830 firms located in Finland, and describes the development of a model for testing the firm-level factors that increase the innovativeness of SMEs. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine asso-ciations between innovativeness and the different explanatory factors put forward. The results show that the creation of novel product and process innovation appears to be associated with manufactur-ing industry, but on the other hand the creation of market innovation is linked to the field of trade. Furthermore, we found that the creation of process innovation was related to the location of firms, and innovation activity appears to be more common in rural areas than in central regions. The results also show that the creation of product/process/market/organisational innovation is positively associ-ated with a firm's growth. Keywords: innovation; firm size; firm sector; location; SMEs; firm performance.
Integrating civil society into regional innovation systems a social foresight lab approach by Fabian Schroth, Hannah Glatte, Simone Kaiser Abstract: In this article, we address the challenge of embedding local knowledge in non-spatially defined innovation systems. We argue that this can be achieved via the inclusion of local civil society in innovation processes. The local population has knowledge of local challenges and potential, and is capable of developing locally relevant ideas. Embedding this knowledge in innovation processes requires a special set of methods that enable local actors to gain access to innovation processes and develop ideas, formulate challenges and identify potential opportunities on equal footing with other innovation actors. In this paper, we present such an approach in the form of a social foresight lab, as used in the context of technology transfer in rural areas to facilitate the identification of local challenges and potential, the collaborative development of ideas, and the regional embedding of non-spatially defined innovation processes. The principles underlying the above are experimentation, collaboration and real-world embeddedness. Keywords: regional innovation system; quadruple helix; social foresight lab; participatory innovation process; civil society; rural areas.