Valeria Miceli

Technological Districts: Policy Criteria and Regional Industrial Features in Italy

  • Abstract

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This paper has the aim to assess the rationale for the establishment of a specific innovation policy instrument namely technological districts (TDs) in Italy. The Italian Ministry of Research promoted, in the period 2002-2006, the creation of high-tech systemic aggregations of firms at regional level. Aim of this paper is to shed light on this policy instrument assessing the coherence between the technological choices operated by Italian regions and the actual economic specialization patterns of the same regions. Through a factorial analysis that allows to represent 6 indices of specialization/concentration (calculated on 5 digits data sourced from Asia database) through only 2 dimensions, it is possible to identify 4 groups of regions. The outcomes have been tested performing a cluster analysis on the same indices that provided similar conclusions. The analysis demonstrates that the basic assumptions required by the policy-maker in terms of economic coherence have been respected only for the first three groups. For the regions belonging to the fourth group this condition has not been met and the criteria followed appear to be quite variegated needing a case to case approach. Although the differentiated regional approach to innovation policy that emerges from this study is acceptable, it remains important to have a continuous monitoring of results also at central level.

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