The paper describes a research experience that studied the policy making process for the implementation of Regional Program for Industrial Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer in Emilia Romagna (North of Italy). The paper reflects about the innovation process and their changes evolving from "linear" to "systemic" approach, in which the innovation is a crucial element of output but also principal ingredient of policy making process. Therefore the focus of the research experience is the reconstruction of the relationship between actors and institutional field in order to explore the process of institutional building that produce innovation and to identify the role of "policy entrepreneurs". The paper also reflects on the critical aspects of "convergence rhetoric" in the processes of local governance of the economy, through comparative studies of two local contexts in which the innovation policy under investigation has been achieved.
Keywords: Policy making, innovation, policy entrepreneurs, local governance, institutional building