This article takes a critical look at assumptions and ideas fundamental to theories of regional innovation systems? and ?learning regions?. First the original theories and their roots are presented briefly. Then a number of key concepts and assumptions will be discussed. After that two trends of development of the original theories will be discussed. One trend is the diversification of the notion of proximity. The other is the inclusion of the global or extra-local linkages in the models. The concluding part suggests a change in perspective in the study of innovation towards a focus on the actors of this process and their societal embeddedness on different scales. More exploratory methods of research would be useful for the creation of relevant scientific knowledge on social processes of innovation.
Regional Growth Agendas : Conference Abstract Volume. 28th - 31st May 2005, University of Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark, 2005