Critical Factors in Creating an Innovation Network in Adverse Environments: the “Pin-Polo Innovativo” in Molise. Several studies have highlighted how environmental conditions and relational assets can foster the development of innovation processes, making some “places” more effective than others in promoting the creation of innovative firms. This paper examines the role of “meta-organizer” actors in triggering innovation processes in contexts characterized by unfavourable environmental and relational conditions. Meta-organizers’ features and functions are examined in order to depict viable paths to turn places hindering innovation into places fostering it. The work presents the case of the “Pin- Polo Innovativo” in Molise, a project designed to promote innovative processes in a region showing adverse conditions, by creating a collaborative network between local private and public actors. The results achieved by the project and the fundamental meta-organising role played by its lead actor are also discussed.