Distant networking: The knowledge acquisition strategies of 'out-cluster' biotechnology firms
European Planning Studies, 2005, vol. 13, issue 6, 899-920
This paper addresses the conditions that enable new biotechnology firms (NBF) operating outside major biotechnology clusters, to obtain the resources and competences necessary to emerge and grow. Drawing on in-depth research on the structure, rationale and evolution of scientific and technological relationships of a group of Portuguese NBFs, the paper discusses the knowledge sourcing strategies devised by these firms and the type of factors that favour their adoption. NBFs are found to draw creatively from a diverse combination of local and distant technological relationships and to profit from a number of mechanisms that can reduce the impact of geographical distance on access to partners and on the transmission of knowledge. This behaviour is favoured by factors associated with the strength of the local science base in relevant fields and to the level of international mobility and exposure achieved by local scientists.
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