Transforming regions into innovation ecosystems: A model for renewing local industrial structures

Kaisa Oksanen, Antti Hautamäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This article elaborates on how to overcome regional structural crises by transforming regions into innovation ecosystems. The article uses a literature review and case study methods to examine the structural change that many regions and cities all over the world are going through, and it investigates how to manage this change and support innovation as efficiently as possible. The ecosystem approach emphasizes the position and roles of local and public actors in developing innovation activity. The case study concentrates on Jyväskylä, a small industrial city in the region of Central Finland. In 2009, the region faced an economic crisis when the mobile device manufacturer Nokia closed its research center in Jyväskylä. The case study resulted in a model for building innovation ecosystems. The model consists of authentic dialogue, Triple Helix cooperation, the core organization, and futures studies. The article clarifies the concepts of the innovation ecosystem and hub, and shows how innovations require a special ecosystem where innovations emerge when different actors collaborate and co-create. The research has implications for innovation practices and studies. The results are relevant for many small cities and regions, especially ones with a strong industrial history, whose real challenge is how to transform their economies into innovation economies. The research adds to the studies on innovation environments and supports the creation of world-class innovation ecosystems through deep cooperation among local, regional, and national actors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Number of pages16
JournalThe Innovation Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • innovation
  • change management
  • innovation hub
  • regional development
  • structural change
  • systemic change


Dive into the research topics of 'Transforming regions into innovation ecosystems: A model for renewing local industrial structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this