The alternative of institutes of local development and innovation as a Key driver for SME’S entrepreneurship strengthening

Charis Vlados, Fotios Katimertzopoulos, Ioannis Blatsos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


To better understand the formation of economic policy and the manner of its practice, this research mainly focuses on meso and micro-approaches, rather than on macro-approaches. In principle the microeconomic approach refers to the study of the factors that determine the relative prices of goods and factors of production, focusing on the individual relevant markets [1]. The meso-economic assumption concerns mainly the special approach towards economic phenomena in their intermediary, & dynamic evolutionary socio- economic dimension, the factors determining the structural dimensions and the "intermediate" sizes of the tested economic system, as well as the economic activity sectors, their concentration, the localities where they accumulate and penetrate, and the evolving forms of competition and innovation within them [2,3]. Based on the 2015 research outcome of the “ΙΟΒΕ”, the business environment on the ground remains one of the least innovation friendly throughout the European Union. Significant entrepreneurial obstacles apart from funding, consist of high market entry barriers as well as the dominant ―rather ambiguous― business culture. As far as the structural nature of the competitiveness problem [4] concerned, the Greek SME’s and their domestic business environment are now facing intertemporal weaknesses and a lack of competitive advantages [5]. Therefore, the successful adaptation of the locally established SME’s will be the major factor in defining the international competitiveness of the Greek economy [6,7]. Regarding the topic of our research question the main goal is to explore the structured depth of the processes that businesses do to escape and survive the economic crisis. Therefore, we propose a participatory institution/mechanism that could have its roots in a business ecosystems and communities of practice approaches that will consult and support SME’s on the subject matters of sustainable development and innovation. This research thus leads to the proposal of building mechanisms of systematic development, knowledge and innovation at local level, taking into consideration all the above structures and facing the disadvantages they generate. These dimensions, we feel, could prove the most critical aspect of overall crisis extraction process for the country today. According to McMaster et al. [8], innovations are not something that remains to be discovered, instead they are created “from chains of weaker to stronger associations of human and non-human alliances…”. The creation of a powerful consortium of actors is the key to innovation [8]. According to Latour [9], this is done by triggering the interest from others and then trying to get them follow our interests. In this paper, we adopt the Actor-network theory as a theoretical framework to guide us to the development of a vehicle – consortium to help SME’s in their way to innovation. The Institutes of Local Development and Innovation (ITAK) are mechanisms of developmental co-ordination, pumping and diffusion of information and modern operational knowledge, that focus on the promotion of innovative entrepreneurship and the extraversion of our locally-installed businesses. In this context, economic policy could be refocused to target the following: i) stimulate competitiveness of our local operating SMEs, ii) increase the attractiveness for new investment, iii) the systematic strengthening of the local production grid, for many regions in Greece [10,11].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3rd International Conference of Development and Economy I.CO.D.ECON
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd International Conference of Development and Economy - I.CO.D.ECON. , Kalamata, Greece
Duration: 3 May 20186 May 2018


Conference3rd International Conference of Development and Economy
Internet address


  • Small and medium-sized entrepreneurship and startups
  • Business management
  • trategy
  • marketing
  • Planning
  • training
  • consulting
  • Regional innovation systems and local development


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