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Regional innovation systems, high-technology development, and governance in the periphery: The case of Northern Finland

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The article examines high-technology development networks in peripheral areas using the case of Northern Finland (as defined by the EU under its Structural Funds programme). Few material and social resources and long distances between key development actors are challenging for research and the development of technologies targeted at global markets. The case study concerns the regional innovation system-based Multipolis network, which brings together technology-related actors in Northern Finland, located on both sides of the Arctic Circle, in an area of c.155,000 km2 and with a population of 0.7 million. The results of the research, which used Q-methodology, reveal that networking is needed between technology development actors in the region and at various spatial levels. However, conflicting viewpoints on the development of Northern Finland exist, and indicate a mismatch between competitiveness policies to support high-technology development and regional policies to promote local employment. It is recommended that more attention should be paid to the governance of technology development in peripheral areas.
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Keywords: Finland; Northern Europe; high technology; periphery; regional innovation systems

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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