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Title: Regional innovation policy and economic development : the case of Wales
Author: Pugh, Rhiannon
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 9708
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis presents a case study of Welsh innovation policy from the period of political devolution (1999) to the present day (2014), exploring the role of regional government as a driver of innovation and economic development. It proposes a multi-theoretical framework to be employed in the study of real world innovation interventions, to illicit nuanced insights into the Wales case study, and also to test the applicability of key regional innovation theories in a weaker region context. The four regional innovation theories identified as the most prominent in both academic literature and policy, and incorporated into the conceptual framework of this study are: systems of innovation, clusters, the learning region, and the triple helix. The case study presented consists of a systematic review of Welsh innovation and related policy since devolution and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in the Welsh innovation system. The Welsh approach to innovation is found to have evolved in three distinct phases, whereby innovation is prioritised differently relative to other policy spheres, and the dominant approach to innovation varies over time. Innovation interventions have met with varying levels of success, and, interestingly, the most prominent approaches have been, on the whole, less successful in Wales. This thesis argues that no one theory is ideally suited to the analysis and development of innovation policy in weaker regions; instead it draws on the strengths of the four key theories identified. It argues against a “one-size-fits-all” approach to innovation policy, premised on exporting models from exceptional leading regions in a manner that is geographically, historically, and culturally blind. It supports a move away from normative approaches to the study and practice of innovation policy, instead drawing on the different theoretical elements that are particularly relevant to the case in question.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography ; JA Political science (General)