Constructing regional advantage in non-metropolitan regions: A comparison between La Pocatière (Canada) and Tromsø (Norway)

Authors: Doloreux, David; Isaksen, Arne; Karlsen, James; Dionne, Steve

Source: Norwegian Journal of Geography, Volume 66, Number 3, 1 June 2012 , pp. 144-154(11)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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The construction of regional advantage has recently been emphasized by scholars as a new way of increasing firms’ competitiveness in a globalizing and learning economy. This article compares the construction of regional advantage and the development paths of specific industries in two different types of non-metropolitan regions, La Pocatière in Canada and Tromsø in Norway. The authors observe a higher level of industrial dynamism in La Pocatière than in Tromsø. They find four explanations for this variation: (1) a narrower regional innovation system (RIS) in Tromsø; (2) the fact that the target industry in Tromsø (marine biotechnology) is, in general, more difficult to develop outside metropolitan regions than the diverse mechanical engineering industry found in La Pocatière; (3) a biased focus on the development of research-based knowledge and academic spin-offs in Tromsø compared with a more varied set of strategies used in La Pocatière; and (4) La Pocatière's location in proximity to the Quebec metropolitan region.
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