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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Innovation in Peripheral Areas

Innovation is usually seen to take place in urban areas which offer many opportunities for interaction between different individuals and organisations, including firms, universities and policy-makers. In contrast, relatively little is known about the types of innovation that occur in peripheral, sparsely populated areas.

This research examines how innovation in some sectors may be stimulated by aspects of peripherality. For example, access to natural resources may generate innovation in sectors such as tourism, food processing or renewable energies. Similarly, the constraints of remoteness may promote the development of new methods for overcoming the difficulties and high cost of delivering services in these areas.

A further focus is on the kinds of interactions that underpin innovation in peripheral areas, where linkss are likely to be national or international rather than local. Other aspects to be investigated include the influence of external market and policy factors on innovation in peripheral areas, as well as the effectiveness of policy support for innovation in such areas.

The project involves interviews with policy-makers and business organisations in peripheral areas in the UK and other European countries, as well as a practitioner workshop and an academic seminar aimed at developing further research ideas.