This paper compares the innovation networks generated by two network-based policies (NBPs) implemented in two Italian regions. Social Network Analysis was used to understand whether the networks differ in their local configurations and in the role played by research institutions. To this aim, Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) were estimated on relational data recording joint participation in collaborative R&D projects. Results indicate that the two networks emerge from different local-level processes. In the first case a core-periphery structure arises from degree centralization driven by one focal actor. In the second case, although transitive closure across projects cannot be realized, the overall structure is more balanced. In the first network, however, companies and research organizations show a higher propensity towards joint participation in collaborative projects. Further research is required to understand whether these characteristics can be ascribed to the policy design or to the greater sectoral diversification of the first network.
Keywords: Innovation policies; technological districts; Triple Helix; Social Network Analysis; Exponential Random Graph Models; Social Selection Model
Jel Code: O38, R58