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Centrality of regions in R&D networks: a new measurement approach using the concept of bridging paths

Laurent Bergé, Iris Wanzenböck and Thomas Scherngell

Regional Studies, 2017, vol. 51, issue 8, 1165-1178

Abstract: Centrality of regions in R&D networks: a new measurement approach using the concept of bridging paths. Regional Studies. This paper introduces a novel measure of regional centrality in the context of research and development (R&D) networks. It first demonstrates some substantial problems of social network analysis (SNA)-based centrality measures to cope with regional R&D networks in a meaningful way. It then proposes a new measurement approach of regional network centrality based on the concept of interregional bridging paths (indirect connections at the regional level). The paper shows that the formal definition of the regional bridging centrality measure can be expressed in terms of three simple components: the participation intensity of a region in interregional R&D collaborations; its relative outward orientation in terms of all established links; and its diversification of R&D collaborations among partner regions. The measure and its behaviour with respect to other conventional centrality measures are illustrated by its application to the European co-patent network at the NUTS-2 level.

Date: 2017
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