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European Commission "INNOVATION IN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES A (short) plea for considering culture, history and socio- oeconomic conditions as important.

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Presentation on theme: "European Commission "INNOVATION IN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES A (short) plea for considering culture, history and socio- oeconomic conditions as important."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Commission "INNOVATION IN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES A (short) plea for considering culture, history and socio- oeconomic conditions as important factors (for innovation) in regional development processes (!) Mag. Christian Husak, gfa Ltd - L+ NNU Austria

2 Christian Husak Austrian LEADER+ NNU Regional development consultant Projectmanagement and Projectdevelopment Lecturer in National Economics, Projectmanagement, Marketing and International Marketing at University of applied sciences Graz Karl Franzens University Graz

3 Christian Husak Innovation Natural & cultural Resources What roles do natural and cultural resources play in the context of innovation in regional development ? Content: - (short) theoretical background - (positive) examples - summary - discussion

4 (theoretical) Background... … common agreement that … … development and innovation takes place in the context of regional behaviour … (see LEADER, see UN commission for culture and development …) different regions face different (basic) conditions for regional development and innovation [ … mostly depending on geographical place (situation) – e. g.: mountainous areas, flatlands, (cross)border areas … regions history and culture … regions society (societal structure) …]

5 Kockel (2002) … Adam Smith, credited as founder of modern economics, still maintained a strong sense of the cultural matrix of economic phenomena. Unfortunately successive generations of economists have progressively lost interest in this matrix. … If we study the relationship between culture and economy, we need to go beyond the one-dimensional view of society and think of economics as a societal science, with values, history, institutions and socio-cultural realities forming an integral part of its explanatory framework … (Ullrich Kockel; Regional Culture and Economic Development; Hampshire 2002) (theoretical) Background...

6 RRC (as theoretic background)... Resource Reliance Continuum (RRC) Natural resourcesCultural resources Creation essentially independent of human agency (e. g. plants, animals, minerals, wind …) Creation essentially dependent of human agency (e. g. industrial products, finance, infrastructure …) continuum The use of regional resources is a function of the purpose and methods of their use which are in turn a function of institutional structures and ageny motivation.

7 In this context... Attempt to find an answer … what kind of conditions encourage regional development processes (to be successful)... what kind of conditions perhaps may act as hindering factors for regional development processes (and therefore for innovation...) positive examples...

8 POSITIVE EXAMPLES... Werkraum Bregenzerwald... Woad in the Lauragais-area...

9 Werkraum Bregenzerwald... Region´s horizon is west and north (Vienna and the iron border was far away …) limited space of the area forced people to work abroad Bregenzerwald is seen as an area of energy (Landscape, fresh air, social structure, commitment to tradition …) homeland Today´s enterpreneurs are yesterday´s children (as children they built their own toys father´s working-room …) regional situation …

10 Werkraum Bregenzerwald... Industrial mass production was the expression of a new lifestyle (today´s entrepreneurs inherited their companies in the 80´s and 90´s …) Customers faced new styles (e. g. IKEA …) The only one chance to be able to compete was to focus on own strengths (knowledge was inherited from generation to generation, new technology supported in applying this knowledge – how to deal with new customer demands (style-plurality) was a so far totally unknown challenge …) economic situation …

11 Werkraum Bregenzerwald establishing design competition handcraft & form 1999 – formation of the association Werkraum Bregenzerwald … in a Lernwerkstatt apprentices are being trained in old handicraft-technics and how to use nowadays Internet-Homepage what happened …

12 Werkraum Bregenzerwald...

13 Werkraum Bregenzerwald...

14 Werkraum Bregenzerwald... some impressions … washing dish … Quick port … cylindric stove … (plate made)

15 Werkraum Bregenzerwald... Strong commitment to their homeland (last but not least) because of strong socio-cultural structures ( people came back and adopted abroad learned technics …) These strong socio-cultural structures establishes a strong feeling of togetherness (although SMEs are in competition …) Nevertheless people remained open-minded (… last but not least because of the force to earn abroad …) Open-mindness resulted in the conviction that cooperation is of mutual benefit lessons learned …

16 Werkraum Bregenzerwald... Conclusion … An innovative climate (…) is the result of strong socio-cultural structures feeling of togetherness – even in the case of competition (common understanding of tradition, heritage, importance of quality …) open-minded people (as a result of having the force to work abroad) – resulting in a trans-sectoral cooperation existing one´s own responsibility (not to wait until someone [e. g. state government, EC …] might help …)

17 Lauragais – Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)... Lauragais … Woad … … 2years plant growing in Europe cultivated since ancient times used to fabricate indigo-blue colour the more you wash woad - coloured clothes the more intensive is the blue colour

18 In 16 th century cultivation of Färberwaid founded the wealth of the Lauragais Region ( today´s importance of Toulouse as well as its architectural heritage is based on trade and business with this plant) Because of chemical dyestuff and Indigo from the New World Färberwaid fall more and more into oblivion Today Färberwaid is being rediscovered because of its clear blue colour, its naturalness and its resistance regional situation … Lauragais – Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)...

19 Toulouse is the region´s main center (capital town of the region Midi-Pyrénées, 770 T inhabitants, airbus industry …) In the surrounding area are a lot of SMEs in industry and trade as well as agricultural companies These SMEs partly are not able to do RTD-work – therefore they are supported by CATAR So far there is no cooperation between different branches and companies economic situation … Lauragais – Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)...

20 Creation of an economic value-added-chain - starting with basic research activities (how to cultivate and best reaping the plant) till finding new markets for Woad as dyestuff (e. g. Waid as colour in the automotive or aircraft - industry) Establishing an intra-regional network amongst different branches and companies With that initiating different kinds of cooperation what happens … Lauragais – Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)...

21 economic vallue added chain Lauragais –Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)... Basic research – e. g. how to cultivate the plant... CAPA = agricultural cooperative society; Grow the plant, harvesting & producing Pigment Plo = dyeing factory producing woad coloured yearn Textile Montagne (tailoring) producing blue coloured dresses, suits, working clothes... Bleu de Lectoure Cosmetics...

22 The Lauragais area has a long lasting tradition in cultivating woad (the area is also known as Pays de cocagne – cockaigne – Schlaraffenland) remembering former prosperity was a kind of a starting- signal for common cooperative activities (participants see woad as their natural heritage …) a common perspective for success initiated by visionary people brought the process to work lessons learned … Lauragais –Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)...

23 Conclusion … An innovative climate (…) is the result of awareness of one´s own tradition (knowledge about old technics, about product advantages …) visionary people who have not been hindered in implementing their ideas (support from different regional-thinking people …) strong belief that the best support is by just doing it … (this enabled the commitment to cooperation …) Lauragais –Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)...

24 what we have seen so far … Of (prior) importance for innovation in regional development processes are the combination of - socio-cultural structures who establish a feeling of togetherness as well as the awareness of one´s tradition (-al heritage) - open minded people (visionary people) not be hindered from politicians … - diversified economic structure - belief that best support is supporting yourself SUMMARY...

25 Turn this into an opposite side … Factors most probably hindering innovative processes … lack of incentives (or lack of boldness) to start traditional based projects (e. g. because of too much large scale companies employing huge portions of people …) mentality we need support from … (especially in areas with former state owned industries – industrial museums, tourist events based on old industry-activities … are hardly sustainable …) hindering visionary people (visionary people are important for innovation – they have to be supported and not be hindered …) HINDERING FACTORS...

26 Lack of incentives … too much large scale companies employing huge portions of people (most of the regional workforce are employed …) too much public founded money (…) companies acting as extended workbench (verlängerte Werkbank – main decisions are done outside the region) monoculture in the economic landscape (e. g. too less industry, too less handcraft …) HINDERING FACTORS...

27 wrong mentality … too much public support (in most cases politically justified) projects mainly done by communities (innovation cannot be ordered – the need of innovation has to emerge and recognized. This happens on a larger scale in companies …) wrong understanding of innovation (especially in the tourism context – innovation is the combination of different packages and not an isolated application) HINDERING FACTORS...


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