Innovation, network governance and planning in rural areas
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Innovation is an important goal in policies and programs for industrial and regional development, and partnership in the form of network governance is regarded as an instrumental tool in regional innovation systems and capacity building processes. I start the discussion with clarifying the terms innovation, network governance and inter‐organisational planning and partnership building processes. I then discuss how we can use a planning approach to theoretical understand the regional capacity building process, and I examine five different partnerships which have the mission to support industrial innovation in the maritime cluster of Northwest Norway. I discuss how they are innovative, to what extent they are a success as the involved partners regard them, and to what extent they are a success when the capacity building process is evaluated against theory about innovation, network governance and planning. At the end I reflect on to what extent my findings are suited to guide the innovation processes in rural areas.