A Comparison of Innovation Strategies of Regional Development Agencies in Turkey

Özen B. S., Baycan T.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CHANGES-FACTS TRENDS FORECAST, vol.15, no.3, pp.236-258, 2022 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.15838/esc.2022.3.81.13
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.236-258
  • Keywords: regional innovation system, regional development agencies, regional innovation strategies, Turkey
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper aims to assess the regional innovation system of Turkey by comparing regional innovation strategies developed by regional development agencies. Focusing on the specific regional innovation strategy documents and addressing first, reports, researches and publications on the official websites of the agencies, and next, the in-depth interviews conducted with the representatives of regional development agencies by phone and/or e-mail, the paper examines and comparatively evaluates the efforts of the regional development agencies contributing to the regional innovation system. Comparative evaluation reveals that some regional development agencies have created a specific regional innovation strategy whereas the others have not yet developed such strategies, but conduct various studies on different innovation dimensions, although these studies are exclusive and far from a holistic approach. The comparative evaluation also reveals that regional innovation strategies differ in terms of regional priorities. Nevertheless, similar strategies developed by regional development agencies address the following issues: developing the research and innovation culture; research and innovation infrastructure; institutional structure; human resources; financial resources; effective communication, cooperation and coordination; entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem; awareness of innovation activities; clusters; priority sectors; social innovation; intellectual property rights and commercialization. Although there are some efforts to improve the regional innovation systems by regional development agencies, the comparative evaluation demonstrates that they have not yet reached the desired level of producing a holistic regional innovation strategy and they should be more effective as a key actor in the regional innovation systems.