Minutes March 8-9, 2006


Back to Workshops

Peripheral Localities and Innovation Policies (PLIP)




in March 8-9, 2006 at Chydenius Institute, Kokkola, Finland



Seija Virkkala, Chydenius Institute, Finland
Kristiina Niemi, Chydenius Institute, Finland

Mats Johansson, KTH, Sweden

Riikka Ikonen, Nordregio, Sweden

Hjalti Jóhannesson, RHA, Iceland

Klaus Lindegaard, CFUL, Denmark

Åge Mariussen, NIFU STEP, Norway

Trond Einar Pedersen, NIFU STEP, Norway


The agenda of the workshop was e-mailed to participants February 23th.

Also some material related to the comparative analysis and a disposition of the final report was e-mailed to participants before the workshop.


There was a plenty of discussion during the two workshop days. However, the minutes includes only the main topics of discussion and the common decisions made in the workshop.


The First Workshop Day

Wednesday March 8th, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.



Seija opened the workshop, welcomed the participants and said a few words about the practicalities. We decided to make a change in the agenda, and to start the second workshop day with the matter of disposition of the final report. Besides that, the two main tasks of the workshop would be discussions and decisions related to comparative analysis and the good practice analysis.



The five country teams each presented their contributions to the comparative analysis. The country report drafts were delivered to the participants. There was a lot of commentary and discussion related to each country’s innovation policies from the point of view of peripheral areas. The differences and similarities between the countries were discussed, too. Seija will comment the reports in writing later on.

We had a discussion on how to write the country reports in relation to the other countries.  It was agreed on that the reports will be written separately hence not necessarily including any comparisons with the other countries’ policies etc. The country reports should include both the national core concepts and actors and also regional level description. They should point the relevant aspects of the contexts of the good practices.



Seija presented outlines for the comparative analysis and we had a discussion based on that. Both country-wise matters and also guidelines in making the comparative analysis were handled.

We agreed that including all the aspects of innovation policies even if from the peripheral areas point of view would be impossible within the given resources. We made a decision to focus on definitions, aims and linkages between innovation policy and regional policy in the comparative analysis. Seija will make a draft and others will comment on it.


The Second Workshop Day

Thursday March 9th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.



First we had a discussion on the structure of the country reports in the comparative analysis part of the final report. It was agreed on that the disposition would be the following:


a) National

1) Definition of innovation policies

  • Scope, objectives
  • Relations to regional development policies

2) Actors and institutions

  • Relations
  • Levels (regional)

3) Relevant policy initiatives (case study area)

  • National level
  • Sectoral level


b) Regional

1) Regional level (case study area)

We continued by discussing the structure of the introduction chapter and the comparative analysis chapter of the final report. We agreed on the following outline, which however may still change during the writing process:


I Introduction (15 pages?)

  1. Background (including a Nordic map with the case study areas, will be delivered by Nordregio)
  2. Research process, methodology
  3. Description of the cases

II Comparative analysis

1) Denmark

a) National (10 pages?)

b)Regional/case study area (10 pages?)


2) Differences and similarities (10 pages?)

  • Comparison of the policies
  • Embedded/good practices


We also discussed on the “transfer” of the good practices and the regional workshops. Description of a good practice should be sent to participants before the regional workshops. Participants can use their own language in the discussion if needed. We also discussed the programme of the regional workshops, the importance of relevant actors participating, as well as the regional workshop dates etc. The workshops should take place before the final research workshop in May. The dates were discussed bilaterally.

We discussed that the role of regional workshops and good practices may vary between the cases. Some of the good practices could really fill a need in the receiving area; the other cases may have more a character of benchmarking for the local actors.

We are basically using the focus group approach in regional workshops. The ideal number of the participants is 8-12. We discussed the possible questions in the regional workshops, which might be for example: Are there elements in the good practice which might answer to some needs in the sector/area? How are these needs met today? Is it possible to use the elements of the good practice? Is support needed in this? Is it possible to use existing support system in this? Is it possible to use the support model or elements of it (foreign)? Is there a need of new support and policies?



We went through the status of the analysis of the good practices. We agreed on that there would be a short description of the three good practices that will not be transferred in the final report.



We discussed the many alternatives in how to structure the good practice –part in the final report. We could make a final decision on this in the research workshop in May. However, it was preliminary decided to use a good practice wise structure instead of a country wise structure. In the following is an example of this:


The Danish Food Industry Case to Norway

Weak hypothesis, Analysis and Abstraction written by the Danish team (10 pages?)

Context, Meeting and Output of the meeting written by the Norwegian team

Transferability written by both Norwegian team and the receiving countries’ teams

Conclusions, innovation policies in Norway written by both teams



We decided to have the PLIP research workshop in May 19th and 20th (half a day) in Esbjerg, Denmark. The co-ordinator prepares the agenda; CFUL takes care of the practical arrangements of the workshop. The country teams must have their main findings ready by then, and the focus will be in discussing the final analysis. The final report will have to be delivered in the end of September.

Klaus informed about the Conference “New Perspectives of Rural development” of Nordic Scottish University Network for Rural and Regional Development which will be organised in Denmark by CFUL September 22-24, 2006. http://www.cful.dk/arrangement_info.asp?id=45&lang=dk

Seija closed the workshop and thanked the participants.