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Understanding Regional Branching Knowledge Diversification via Inventor Collaboration Networks

Adam Whittle, Balázs Lengyel () and Dieter Kogler ()

No 2006, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography

Abstract: The diversification of regions into new technologies is driven by the degree of relatedness to existing capabilities in the region. However, in such case where the necessary skills for diversification are missing, the importation of external knowledge from neighbouring regions or from further away is necessary. Despite the importance of interregional knowledge flows through collaborative work, we still have a very limited understanding of how collaboration networks across regions facilitate diversification processes. The present study investigates the diversification patterns of European NUTS2 regions into new knowledge domains via CPC technology classes reported in patent applications to the European Patent Office. The findings indicate that externally oriented inventor collaboration networks increase the likelihood that a new technology enters a region. The influence of interregional ties is higher if the external knowledge sourcing is based on a diverse set of regions and if collaboration is intense within entities located in distinct regions. Further, the results demonstrate that interregional collaboration networks in general provides the final push into related diversification activities. At the same time, internal collaboration promotes entry into knowledge domains that are weakly related to already present technologies in the region. Finally, evidence shows that diverse external connections and intense collaboration within companies across distant sites compensate for missing related skills in the region.

Keywords: Economic Diversification; Regional Knowledge Networks; Inventor Collaboration Networks; Firm Linkages; Knowledge Sourcing; Specialisation; Patent Data Analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O33 O52 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-02, Revised 2020-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-net, nep-tid and nep-ure
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