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Continuity and change in path-dependent regional policy development: The regional implementation of the Norwegian VRI programme

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Despite being promoted as a fresh start, new innovation programmes tend to inherit structures and procedures from previous initiative. The authors examine the regional implementation of the Norwegian VRI programme (Programme for Regional R&D and Innovation). Using insights from evolutionary theory, they elaborate on the coexistence of continuity and change in programme practice. Characteristics of previous programmes that have been followed in the new VRI programme are outlined, and new elements and procedures that have been introduced are tracked. The authors find that the new programme does not mark a radical break with the past, and clearly shows path-dependent evolution. Based on the assumption that ‘history matters’, the article contributes towards a more nuanced understanding of the various dimensions of path dependency.

Keywords: evolutionary theory; innovation policy; path dependency; regional initiatives

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012


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