This paper discusses two fundamental concepts of industrial policy developed by Sebastiano Brusco: the role of real services to support systems of firms, and the promotion of widespread changes at the level of knowledge, competences and social relations. With respect to the former consideration, the industrial district is a key policy target per se, with respect to the latter, a model for innovative policy design. Finally, with the possibility of "district planning contracts" the industrial districts can take on active roles in national development policy for Southern Italy. This conceptual shift reflects some of the changes in the research paradigm and policy framework over the last decade.
Keywords: Industrial districts, Local development policy, Real services
Jel Code: O310, O320, O380