50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
Could the aeronautics-aerospace industry renovate the "poles of growth" model as a path of local development? The paper aims to introduce a theoretical approach in order to answer the question if nowaday new models of local development at regional level exist and if it is possible to recognize the coexistence of different model in the same time depending by particular characteristics and socio-economic background of an area. The main idea of the paper turns around the possibility to review the model of poles of growth described by Perroux at first time. This idea is supported by the case-study of the aeronautics-aerospace industry that presents a meaningful polarization at the regional level in many European regions and can represent an important path for local development. The sector presents a pyramidal structure having few big companies at top operating as global players as well as a lot of companies at the basis. These form meaningful linkages with local SMES in terms of technical collaboration and knowledge transfer. In this way aeronautics-aerospace industry involves institutional organizations at different levels, researchers, different sized firms and a lot of selected stakeholders. Then aeronautics-aerospace activities represent the starting of a significantly trial to regional development in terms of economic stimulus and fertilization towards innovation diffusion as well. That is way the sector can be defined as a knowledge-science-based one in according to the traditional Pavitt's taxonomy. This aspect is particularly important in the present economic phase because economic theories concord about the idea that knowledge diffusion and news innovation technologies represent the winning tools in the framework of global competition. The model of poles of growth is reviewed in this new perspective with a particular attention to the innovation input-output linkages among companies as well as these and research infrastructure formed by as universities and research institutions, human capital and firms incubators that represent the competitive endogenous factors of an area.