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The paper investigates the existence of an Open Regional Innovation System (ORIS model). This model is characterised by the firms' adoption of an open innovation strategy, which overcomes not only the boundaries of the firms but also the boundaries of the region. Using data collected in a sample of life science firms, the research provides the evidence that the Emilia Romagna RIS has evolved towards an ORIS model, where firms' innovation search strategy, despite being still embedded in local nets (involving several regional Public Research Organisations - PROs), is open to external-to-the-region research networks and knowledge sources. It also shows that innovation openness influences significantly the firms' innovative performance.
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