In the new 'knowledge economy" approach, innovation is conditioned by several factors, of both a socio-cultural and technical-economical nature, which can affect the various stages of the process, ranging from the production of new knowledge to its practical application and commercialization.
Innovation is a collective/interactive process, which cannot take place outside a highly territorial and systemic dimension.
But innovation is nothing more than a tool to be used to improve quality of life and as such it responds to a vision and a strategy shared by local actors, using multi-dimensionality and territoriality as indispensable paradigms for action and success, even if necessarily linked to actions of a national and international dimension, in both the production of knowledge and experience, and policies to improve the human condition.
In this respect, the innovation processes described and commented in this paper can support United Nations strategies for the achievement of the Millennium Goals and all programmes that seek to promote participatory processes for human development.
The last chapter of the paper focuses on the potential of these processes and indicates some courses of action that can help to promote them in the perspective of human development.