Aranguren, M.J., Larrea, M., Wilson, J.R.
European Planning Studies, 18 (1): 47-66
English // Keywords: local governance networks innovation Basque Country.
As new concepts of innovation emphasizing interaction between agents have gained influence, regions have become acknowledged as relevant units for policy-making. This paper explores questions around multi-level governance with regards the promotion of local and regional networking initiatives designed to facilitate innovation. The specific case studied is that of the Basque Country region in Spain. As part of a response to the innovation challenge an initiative called Innobasque was launched in 2007 as a region-wide framework through which to stimulate cooperation networks for innovation. While Innobasque is in its infancy, this paper seeks to draw lessons for the development of such projects from analysis of a smaller-scale, local case (Ezagutza Gunea) that has demonstrated considerable success. While the territorial coverage, goals and institutions implied are different in each case, the necessary rationalization of efforts made at different institutional levels makes it interesting to “learn from the local” in trying to understand complementarities and possible overlaps. We conclude that effective coordination of knowledge flows rooted in networks at different spatial scales and of different configurations (“bottom-up” and “top-down”) is a key challenge for regional policy-makers and an important area for future research.