Towards a Creative Approach of Territorialized Innovation Policies: Lessons from the Neo-Austrian Concept of “Entrepreneurial Discovery”

By Jean-Alain Héraud

Innovation policies are nowadays at least implicitly based on specific conceptions of the process of innovation (its nature and its constraints). We can consider various policy rationales in this context. In order to make a relevant analytical appraisal of regional innovation policies, returning to the founding fathers’ theories may be fruitful. Schumpeter and Hayek can help to better understand the (individual and collective) nature of the creative process called innovation. We advocate the necessity to consider innovation not only as a phenomenon of the “economics of knowledge”, but as fundamentally based on entrepreneurial capabilities. This vision has of course some consequence for policy evaluation. The neo-Austrian concept of entrepreneurial discovery is cited in the EU literature on regional “smart specialization strategy” without being fully explained. We intend to make some policy recommendations on the basis of this concept.JEL Codes: O38


  • innovation
  • policy
  • entrepreneurship
  • Schumpeter
  • Hayek
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