Lena Steinmüller , pp. 82. DSN/School of Planning and Media Design, 2010.
The presented thesis analyses the theoretical concept of Innovative Regions for the study case Hamburg. To provide a basis for the analysis of the study case a closer look on the process of innovation, innovative elements and the appropriateness of the regional level for innovation policy has been taken. For the examination of Hamburg two approaches have been used: First, a deeper look on the Regional Innovation Scoreboard, which is a European approach to benchmark Innovative Regions, has been taken. Second, an investigation of the historical development of the main economic sectors, the main actors and the attractiveness of the region has been made. Concluding Hamburg’s strength and its weaknesses as an Innovative Region have been defined. Its strength is, among others, a (national) leading position within the fields of media, aviation, the maritime industry and logistics. In these fields a thick labour market and, especially in media, schools/ universities with a high reputation can attract a high educated labour force. But the receptiveness to new people, companies and ideas is rather low. The European importance of the port grants a steady income for the city, which again provides room for further policy actions. Its weaknesses display the other side of the medal, as the success of the port and some sectors decrease the need for change, which is a source for innovation. Innovation policy in Hamburg does not try to solve this contradiction; instead the main efforts are taken in the already strong sectors, which are also fostered by cluster initiatives. The author suggests that replacing this targeted policy by a more general innovation policy might be a solution. By doing so, it has to be taken into account that innovation itself cannot be fostered by policy. Policy can only influence some framework conditions for innovation, others, such as the ‘people climate’, must be changed in a bottom up process.