In this paper we discuss the result of a recent survey on the investments of industrial enterprises in the Emilia-Romagna region, from which emerges a potential relationship between firms' investments and competitiveness. The regional dimension is probably the most suited to analyse this kind of phenomenon and in recent years economic literature has increasingly underlined the importance of the regional dimension of innovation processes. The analysis confirms that a favourable institutional context can successfully support companies in their innovation strategies and investments. In the end, some critical knots emerges from the analysis with regard to the regional economic structure: the small size of firms, the difficulty to find human resources, particularly high-skilled workers, represent relevant obstacles to the innovation process. This conclusion also confirm the need for a better understanding on the relevance of organizational innovation and its interaction, both at firm and economy levels, with more "traditional" forms of technological innovation.