Innovation Systems in Croatian Regions

Katarina Bačić, Zoran Aralica


The goal of this paper was to research and apply the concept of Regional Innovation Systems (RIS) to Croatian regions and to identify particular strengths supporting innovation diffusion as a source of regional competitiveness. A system of indicators is envisaged, with the choice of RIS dimensions and indicators largely relying on Evangelista, Iammarino, Mastrostefano, and Silvani (2001). In total, 32 relevant regional indicators are grouped into three dimensions – Knowledge creation and dissemination, Firm innovation activity and Systems' performance. Regional heterogeneity is noted with respect to innovation capacities in the 2006–2010 period: North-West Croatia is leading in the diffusion of innovation, with overall RIS configuration most conducive to innovation activity; Central and East Croatia (CEC) has a distinct value chain in agriculture and low-technology industries and industries' needs for technological upgrading are resolved through external R&D (acquisition of licenses, patents and know-how), backed up by strong public financing; Adriatic Croatia is underperforming in innovation activity, given the advantages it has over CEC in important elements of systemic dimensions such as entrepreneurial and technological infrastructure and in scientific capacities. Policy implications are drawn from highlighted regional differences in innovation capacities and in sectoral structures.


regional innovation system (RIS); Croatian regions; innovation activity; innovation diffusion

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096