Policy Paper: Entrepreneurial Regional Governance: societal innovation beyond spatial frontiers

ESPON observes that some regional public authorities demonstrate entrepreneurial behaviour when pursuing social and environmental benefits for their communities. In innovation-scarce environment, they connect temporarily with private-sector  innovators from regions with higher potential for societal knowhow flow, adopt external knowhow and ‘pollinate’ their regional markets with new opportunities. These opportunities are discovered by local firms, who in turn respond with actions adding societal value in regional markets.

In doing so, regional authorities are acting as entrepreneurs, without assuming the role of businesses. That is, public authorities assemble and synthesise information distributed across space, time and types of legal entities so as to extract social, economic and environmental value for their communities. This is a crucial difference to traditional innovation policies. Not every region is destined to produce societal innovation, but every region is capable to tap into the existing societal innovation flows and repurpose acquired knowhow for the benefits of local communities, adjusting to spatial and structural conditions. This is the nature of the entrepreneurial action: creating a self-reinforcing societal value out of undervalued and/or unrecognised resources through access to spatially external knowhow with societal value.

Read more in this Policy Paper that was produced in cooperation with the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. It is also available in Czech. 


Entrepreneurial Regional Governance.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 7.65MB

entrepreneurial regional governance CZ.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 6.87MB