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Innovation and regional development

This paper is based on the knowledge gained from working with two industrial networks from the county of Østfold in Norway. There is a special focus on the creation of networking arenas and the development of these arenas for better co-operation between the companies in the network. Much of the empirical knowledge has been achieved by interviewing participants from the networks, and by active participation in co-operation projects.

The theme is innovation processes in industrial networks, and there is a special attention on how it is possible to enhance the innovation capacity of the networks. It is also important to discuss innovation processes in industrial networks as a part of regional innovation systems because innovation processes in industrial networks can not be fully understood without understanding how this also relates to the surroundings.

Furthermore, in this paper I also discuss how good relationsships, continous change and strategies for knowledge creation are important factors for innovation in networks. This, I argue, could be achieved by following the principles from co-generated learning processes (as a search conference). The principles could be adapted, and specially designed, for each network in a way that increases the quality and efficiency of the co-operation processes.

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