Policy makers are incessantly searching for the prosperity of their regions. Prosperity is intrinsically linked to competitiveness and this one largely depends on innovation. As a matter of fact, innovation is crucial for firms in achieving and maintaining competitive advantage and is, therefore, one of the main concerns for most organizations and policy makers. Inter-organizational networks of firms have been described as the main source of innovation, and, thus, of competitiveness. Nevertheless, the concept of "network" remains broad and sometimes vague both in literature and in practice, contributing to a rhetoric of inter-organizational networks. The aim of this paper is first to critically review literature on inter-organizational networks, clarifying perspectives and voices and shedding light on the heterogeneity of inter-organizational networks characterizing the contemporary Italian socio-economic panorama. Second, we aim at suggesting policy makers interventions in activating, supporting and governing inter-organizational networks for competitiveness, and thus for prosperity.