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Dialogues in innovation: Interactive learning and interactive research as means for a context sensitive regional innovation policy

Oyvind Palshaugen

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Theoretical and empirical studies that demonstrate and discuss the importance of interactive learning for releasing the innovation potential within national as well as regional innovation systems have been steadily increasing since Lundvall’s first publications on this topic in the late eighties. More recently, studies that emphasise the importance of contextsensitive regional innovation policies for releasing the innovation potential have added new arguments for the importance of interactive learning in regional innovation systems. However, innovation researchers operating at the national and/or regional level still seem not to consider themselves as the kind of actors who might enter into any kind of processes of interactive learning with other institutional actors. Against this backdrop, this article develops the argument that interactive research will provide new knowledge on how to realise context-sensitive innovation policies, by supporting interactive learning for the purpose of realising the innovation potential of regions. Such interactive research may take on many forms, but one common methodological aspect will be some kind of participation in dialogues on innovation.

Keywords: dialogue, interactive learning, interactive research, regional innovation policy