Cross-border regional innovation ecosystems: The role of non-profit organizations in cross-border cooperation at the US-Mexico border
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CitationCappellano, Francesco. Makkonen, Teemu. (2019). Cross-border regional innovation ecosystems: The role of non-profit organizations in cross-border cooperation at the US-Mexico border. GeoJournal, Published online: 21 June 2019, 10.1007/s10708-019-10038-w.
In light of the shortcomings concerning cross-border regional innovation systems (CBRIS), this analysis seeks to propose a new cross-border regional innovation ecosystem (CBRIE) concept better equipped to address the contemporary innovation policy development and practical regional policy challenges on the ground. The existing literature on CBRIS has focused on EU regions and awarded only a marginal role to non-profit organizations (NPO) as potential facilitators of cross-border cooperation (CBC). To address this knowledge gap, the role of NPOs in CBC is analyzed within the bi-national San Diego–Tijuana region at the US-Mexico border. The research follows a mixed approach based on semi-structured interviews and social network analysis in order to: (i) gauge how organizations are interrelated and (ii) identify the key actors within the CBRIE. The results show that the CBRIE concept serves as an effective tool for identifying the organizations involved in cross-border networks and their roles in CBC at the US-Mexico border. Although the US-Mexico border presents stark differences compared to EU border regions, the CBRIE concept can offer a starting point for analyzing and facilitating CBC in Europe