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Journal Articles Insights into Regional Development Year : 2022

Innovations and the circular economy: a national and regional perspective


The introduction of innovative practices compatible with the objectives of the circular economy is one of the main enablers for transforming current production patterns towards more sustainable and competitive systems. Understanding whether and to what extent firms are introducing circular-oriented innovations allows monitoring where we stand in the circular transition and thus which further efforts are needed to achieve a resource-efficient economy. This study is based on data from two surveys on Small and Medium Enterprises: the first one reaches 4565 companies located throughout Italy (in the two-year period 207-2018) and the second one focuses on 1603 companies operating in the Emilia-Romagna region (in the three-year period 2017-2019). The analysis is aimed at offering a broad picture of the level of involvement of national and regional firms in the implementation of circular innovation. Despite the overall positive performance, there appears to be a fragmented adoption of circular innovation in terms of firms' size, technological intensity of the sectors and in accordance with the geography and the productive specialization of the territory. In general, circular innovation mainly involves firms operating in low-technology-intensity sectors in Southern Italy and more technological intensive sectors in Northern Italy and it is more widespread among large firms. On the contrary, in Emilia-Romagna, the distribution of circular innovation mainly concerns mediumsized firms, especially those belonging to low and medium technology-intensive sectors, moreover companies in the provinces of Modena and Parma show higher adoption rates.
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hal-04242573 , version 1 (19-10-2023)



Davide Antonioli, Elisa Chioatto, Massimiliano Mazzanti. Innovations and the circular economy: a national and regional perspective. Insights into Regional Development, 2022, 4 (1), pp.57 - 70. ⟨10.9770/ird.2022.4.1(4)⟩. ⟨hal-04242573⟩
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