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Knowledge bases, innovation and multi-scalar relationships - Which kind of territorial boundedness of industrial clusters?

Franz Tödtling () and Alexander Auer ()

SRE-Discussion Papers from WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Abstract: Innovation is nowadays a highly interdependent process where firms rely on distributed knowledge sources at various spatial scales. It has been argued that innovation interactions are shifting increasingly from local/regional towards global scales and that the region as a space for supporting innovation and competitiveness of firms is losing in importance. We suggest, however, that firms and clusters rely on various kinds of knowledge bases and factors for their development that differ in their geographical mobility and territorial boundedness. Whereas codified knowledge as well as many kinds of goods and services, investment capital, and people have become mobile at a global scale due to improvements of transport- and communication technologies and a lowering of trade barriers, we find other factors that are still territorially bound, such as tacit knowledge that is exchanged in local and social networks, and certain kinds institutions and regulations that are territorially confined. We investigate therefore for different types of industries to what extent and which kind of driving factors for cluster development and innovation have become non-local or footlose, or remain territorially bound to regions or countries. This also has relevance for regional and innovation policies that try to enhance the competitiveness of clusters and regional economies.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-tid and nep-ure
Date: 2017
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