The transformations inherent to the transition from the Industrial Era to the Knowledge Era reveal the need for developing a new conceptual framework to deepen the understanding of emerging social, technological and economic patterns globally, as well as their far-reaching impacts on competitiveness and on socio-economic development. As an alternative to more traditional emphases on economic sectors and individual firms, we have been developing a conceptual and methodological approach focussing on local productive and innovative systems.


The emphasis on local systems underlines the relevance of understanding:

  • Interactive learning processes,
  • Innovative technical and organisational qualification,
  • Accumulated tacit knowledge and trust, and
  • Geographic, social and cultural proximity as important sources of diversity and competitive advantages.