Structural Characteristics and Implications of Regional Innovation Networks
Since the importance of innovation as a means of industrial development and economic growth has been emphasized, the region has played a key role as an appropriate spatial unit of innovation policy and a spatial scope in which connections and exchanges between innovators are more active. However, the rapidly changing industrial environment requires to redefine the direction of regional innovation policies and rethink their design. Rapid technological change and structural stagnation in main industries due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution require improvement of innovation policies for regional industrial development. In addition, the increase in non-face-to-face activities due to the spread of COVID-19 is expected to cause many changes in the role and strategy of regional innovation activities which have been based on geographical proximity and face-to-face contact. Regional comparative advantage in innovation activities lies not in simple face-to-face contact, but in the formation of social capital shared over a long period of time and active interaction between innovation actors, which are still important factors in the interpretation and sharing of complex information. In this respect, the role of regions in the innovation process is expected to remain important. In response to changes in the new environment, however, it seems necessary to change the policy direction to strengthen networks and interaction.