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Regions and Innovation

Collaborating across Borders

image of Regions and Innovation

This report examines cross-border collaboration on innovation, building on case studies of cross-border areas that include the following countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom and Ireland.

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Innovating beyond borders

To be globally competitive, regions need to take into account the dual phenomena of increasing international linkages and the persisting importance of geographic proximity. However, even when innovation actors are in proximity, the presence of an international border is a barrier for collaboration, one that is increasing in recent years. For many regions, there are a number of reasons why collaborating with an international neighbour makes sense for both sides. For innovation purposes, the definition of the “functional” area for cross-border policy requires some assessment of both the innovation relationships that are (or could be) relevant, as well as the other functional ties and institutional arrangements. The definition should seek to avoid simply creating rigid new borders.

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