The paper analyses the effects of the economic crisis on the Italian local innovation systems through the case study of the microelectronics industry in Catania. After a period of rapid growth experienced in the second half of the Nineties, which had been due to a virtuous circle of institutional complementarity, nowadays Catania is going through a delicate phase of slowdown and repositioning. The paper shows how the changes in the semiconductor industry - such as the progressive orientalisation of its value chain and the rising of new firms’ organisational structures different from vertical integration - have affected the local productions system. It also emerges that processes of institutional detachment at the local governance level, side by side whit a weaker intensity and effectiveness of national development policies, have hindered the local system recovery.
Keywords: Local innovation systems, Microelectronic industry, Industrial organisation; University-industry relations, Institution and growth, Human capital