Slow Innovation in Europe's Peripheral Regions: Innovation beyond Acceleration

Mayer, Heike (2020). Slow Innovation in Europe's Peripheral Regions: Innovation beyond Acceleration. In: Döringer, Stefanie; Eder, Jakob (eds.) Schlüsselakteure der Regionalentwicklung: Welche Perspektiven bietet Entrepreneurship für ländliche Räume? ISR-Forschungsberichte: Vol. 51 (pp. 9-22). Wien: Verlag der Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

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Innovation processes are often conceptualized with an urban bias and are therefore theorized solely considering the perspective of the urban environment (e.g. close face-to-face contacts, dense urban milieus, fast interactions between a multitude and diverse actors, etc.). As a result, innovation theories do not sufficiently consider the context of the periphery and how this context may foster or hinder the development of innovative products, technologies and services. In the meantime, economic geographers started to conceptualize innovation processes in peripheral locations as ‘slow innovation’ (Shearmur 2015, 2017; Shearmur & Doloreux, 2016) and they have emphasized the need to consider innovative processes as more isolated, less dependent on frequent interactions with partners and more strategic in terms of seeking information and knowledge. Another stream of research that recently emerged, considers the periphery as a space in which creativity can more freely unfold because innovators are positioned at the fringes and are more free to experiment with unconventional ideas (Grabher2018). Less emphasis has been placed on the notion that peripheral spaces can also offer opportunities for experimentation because they afford innovative actors the opportunity to reflect, search, experiment and advance in undisturbed, more ‘slow’ ways, perhaps because they by choice are shielded from accelerating economic pressures. In this sense, the relative emptiness or thinness of the periphery can be considered not only as an asset for innovation, but also as an empowering characteristic for innovative behavior. This exploratory essay examines these processes through exploratory case studies of slow innovators in peripheral regions in the European Alps (Italy and Austria).

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Economic Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

UniBE Contributor:

Mayer, Heike

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISBN:

978-3-7001-8681-6

Series:

ISR-Forschungsberichte

Publisher:

Verlag der Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Language:

English

Submitter:

Carmen Metzler

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 11:13

Last Modified:

21 Apr 2020 11:13

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.141857

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/141857

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