The authors of this paper hypothesize that one of the most significant features of regional competitiveness in the global economy is innovation development and that through innovation application, underdeveloped regions can reduce the gap between them and leading regions and can in turn surpass leading regions. The purpose of the article is to verify this hypothesis, to determine the role and significance of innovation development in the provision of regional competitiveness and to identify ways to increase the competitiveness of underdeveloped regions through innovation application. The methodological basis of the research is comprised of a specially developed proprietary methodology for the evaluation of regional competitiveness and a modified factor analysis methodology for the determination of factors of regional economic growth using the 'economic miracle' case for various regions. Through this study, the authors validate the proposed hypothesis and conclude that innovation development critically shapes regional competitiveness by determining the quality of economic growth. The proposed model for increasing regional competitiveness on the basis of innovation development presents new opportunities to increase the competitiveness of underdeveloped regions through innovation application.
innovation development regional economies competitiveness