Innovation, Technological Diffusion and Regional Development - (Paper first received, March 2009; in final form, June 2009) The paper reviews the contributions made by Italian regionalists to the debate on the role of knowledge, technical change, and innovation in regional development in the last thirty years. The results show that Italian scholars have given seminal contributions from the theoretical point of view, as well as providing strong empirical evidence in support of their theses. Many topics have been analysed and successfully developed by Italian regionalists (among others, functional deficit, innovative milieux, collective learning, and territorial competition). However, their most original contribution has been to draw a clear-cut distinction between space and territory, with material factors, more than physical proximity alone, playing a significant role in innovation at regional level.
Keywords: knowledge, innovation and territorial development
JEL Classification: R10, R11