22 February 2019

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Damiano Lepori, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg.

The entire selection, carried out since 2013, can be consulted on the academic articles page of our web.

 

The visible hand of cluster policy makers: An analysis of Aerospace Valley (2006-2015) using a place-based network methodology

By: D. Lucena-Piquero, J. Vicente. Research Policy, Vol. 48, Iss. 3, pp. 830-842, 2019.

Abstract: “The paper focuses on cluster policies with particular attention to the role of R&D collaborative incentives in the structuring of knowledge networks in clusters. We disentangle the main network failures in regional innovation systems, and discuss the selection procedures designed by policy makers to foster knowledge collaborations. We draw evidence from the French Aerospace Valley cluster from 2006 to 2015. The case study is based on a dataset of 248 granted research consortia, from which we build 4-cohort knowledge networks that enable us evidencing the evolving structural properties of the cluster over time. We suggest avoiding the bias and limitations of 1 and 2-mode network analysis by developing an original place-based network methodology that emphasizes on structural equivalence and groups’ behaviors. We discuss the results focusing on the convergence degree between the structural properties of the cluster selected by the Program and the policy makers’ objectives. Finally, the methodology allows us to identify the agents of the structural and technological changes observed throughout the period.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

 

 

Linking content and technology: On the geography of innovation networks in the Bergen media cluster

By: R. Martin, J. O. Rypestøl. Lund University, Papers in Innovation Studies, Paper no. 2019/01, 2019.

Abstract: “This paper deals with the geography of innovation networks and analyses combinatorial knowledge dynamics from a single cluster perspective. Addressing firms in the media cluster in Bergen, Norway, we examine how and from where companies acquire and combine different types of knowledge for their innovation activities. The empirical analysis, which is based on structured interviews with 22 media companies, identifies two main types of cluster firms: media content providers that rely heavily on symbolic knowledge and media technology providers that draw mostly on synthetic knowledge. Even though they draw on different knowledge bases, the two types of firms are strongly interlinked in their innovation activities and source knowledge from each other. Furthermore, we find that synthetic firms constitute a gateway to the regional R&D system and that the region acts as key arena for the combination of dissimilar knowledge bases.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

 

Local and nonlocal knowledge typologies: technological complexity in the Irish knowledge space

By: A. Whittle. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2019.1567695, 2019.

Abstract: “This paper advances a measure of knowledge complexity to analyse for Ireland whether more complex knowledge is generated by local or foreign firms. Information on assignees, technological structure and global ownership contained within a recently developed Irish patent database forms the basis for distinguishing between technologies developed by local and nonlocal firms. Thereafter, our knowledge complexity index uses a modified bipartite network to link these technologies to their country of origin, i.e. local or nonlocal. Our results indicate that the most complex technologies tend to be produced in a few diverse regions. Furthermore, the majority of complex knowledge is generated in technology classes where the share of foreign activity is greater than local firms.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

 

Entwicklungsdynamiken von Clusterinitiativen in Deutschland im Zeitverlauf

By: C. M. Buhl, B. Sedlmayr, G. Meier zu Köcker. Institut für Inovation und Technik, ISBN-13: 978-3-89750-201-7, 2019.

Abstract: “Die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit einer Region bzw. Nation ist in der Regel zugleich auch ein Spiegelbild der regionalen Leistungsfähigkeit. Im europäischen Vergleich ist Deutschland wirtschaftlich sehr gut positioniert und gilt hinsichtlich des Bruttoinlandsproduktes als die größte Volkswirtschaft Europas. Die gesamtwirtschaftliche Entwicklung verlief in den vergangenen Jahren sehr positiv, was sich u. a. in einem kontinuierlichen Anstieg des Bruttoinlandsproduktes (im 1. Halbjahr 2018 um 2,2% gegenüber dem Vorjahr) ausdrückt. Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung vieler Regionen hängt eng mit dem Vorhandensein von leistungsstarken Clusterinitiativen zusammen. Empirische Untersuchungen2 verdeutlichen, dass sich Akteure, insbesondere Unternehmen, die sich aktiv und stetig in leistungsfähigen Clusterinitiativen engagieren, dynamischer entwickeln, innovativer und somit besser im Wettbewerb positioniert sind als Akteure, die nicht in regionalen oder landesweiten Kooperationsverbünden agieren.

Clusterpolitische Maßnahmen sind daher wichtige Instrumente einer zukunfts- und entwicklungsorientierten Innovations-, Regional-, Wirtschafts- und Strukturpolitik. Die Fokussierung auf die Entwicklung von nachhaltigen, stabilen und leistungsfähigen Clusterstrukturen seitens der Politik ergibt sich aufgrund der Annahme, dass die in Clusterinitiativen involvierten Unter- nehmen, universitären und außeruniversitären Forschungseinrichtungen sowie Technologie-, Innovations- und Gründerparks wesentliche Akteure des Innovationsgeschehens sind und somit entscheidend zur Innovationsgenerierung sowie Wertschöpfung beitragen. Diese Grundannahme ist Konsens auf den Ebenen – Land, Bund, Europa – und aufgrund dessen werden seit nunmehr fast 25 Jahren netzwerk- und clusterpolitische Maß- nahmen mit unterschiedlichen Förderschwerpunkten entwickelt sowie implementiert. Zudem wurden in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten durch privatwirtschaftliches Engagement Clusterinitiativen in nahezu allen für Deutschland wichtigen Branchen und Technologiefeldern von Automotive bis Zerspanungstechnik gegründet. Aufgrund dessen existiert in Deutschland eine sehr ausdifferenzierte Clusterlandschaft mit einer hohen Anzahl an regionalen Clusterinitiativen und landesweiten Netzwerken.

Im Rahmen der Studie „Clusters in Germany“, welche im Jahre 2008 erschien, wurde erstmals eine umfassende Momentaufnahme der deutschen Clusterlandschaft einschließlich der strukturellen Spezifika der Clusterinitiativen dargelegt3. Seitdem wurden diverse Studien zu Clustern und Clusterinitiativen publiziert, jedoch bisher keine, welche die Entwicklungen und strukturellen Veränderungen von Clusterinitiativen in Deutschland basierend auf qualitativer und quantitativer Datenmaterialien über einen längeren Zeitraum aufzeigt.

Die wesentlichen Fragen sind daher: Wie ist die deutsche Clusterlandschaft gegenwärtig strukturiert? Was sind die prägenden Merkmale? Wie entwickelten sich die Clusterinitiativen in den vergangenen Jahren weiter? Was sind Stärken und Herausforderungen der Clusterinitiativen in der Gesamtbetrachtung? Diese und weitere Fragestellungen werden mit dieser Studie beantwortet. Dazu wird zum einen der Status quo eines größeren Ausschnitts der deutschen Clusterlandschaft dargestellt. Zum anderen wird die Entwicklungsdynamik im Zeitverlauf veranschaulicht.

Wir wünschen Ihnen eine interessante und erkenntnisreiche Lektüre!” [PREFACE FROM AUTHORS]

 

Firm Productivity and Agglomeration Economies: Evidence from Egyptian Data

By: K. Badr, R. Rizk, C. Zaki. Economic Research Forum, Working Paper No. 1239, 2018.

Abstract: “This paper attempts to shed light on the nexus between firm productivity and economies of agglomeration in Egypt. Using a large dataset of 62,108 firms in 342 four-digit activities in 27 regions governorates, we introduce three measures of agglomeration, which are urbanization or firm diversification, measured by the number of firms in the governorate, localization and specialization, measured by the average productivity in the governorate and sector (generating externalities and knowledge spillovers), and finally competition, measured by the number of firm operating in the same governorate and the same sector. We find strong evidence for the existence of agglomeration economies in Egypt after controlling for firm age, location, economic activity and legal status. In the Egyptian context, productivity spillovers gained from agglomeration economies outweighed the negative effects of congestion implied by our competition measure. The latter is chiefly due to the lack of good infrastructure. When regressions are run by firm size and activity, our main findings show, first, that micro and small firms are more likely to benefit from localization and diversification compared to medium and large firms. Finally, service firms benefit more from a high level of diversification, while manufacturing firms gain more from knowledge spillovers and specialization. Our results support promoting entrepreneurship through the creation of industrial clusters located outside Cairo to lessen disparities between regions and acquire the full advantages of agglomeration.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

 

A Threshold Model of Urban Development

By: A. Vesperoni, P. Schweinzer. Munich Society for the Promotion of Economic Research, CESifo Working Papers, Working Paper No. 7326, 2018.    

Abstract: “We propose a simple model of distribution of economic activity across cities of endogenous size and number determined by individual incentives in the tradition of threshold models of social interaction. The individuals populating our model are endowed with idiosyncratic entrepreneurial creativity the realization of which requires urban agglomeration linked to a crowding cost. As the latter is higher in cities of larger size, this leads to a trade-off between productivity and congestion. While our focus on distributive aspects comes at the cost of highly stylized behavior, we aim to provide a tractable framework to think about the interlinkages between various measures of urban development which became increasingly available through accessible data sets. Our predictions include an U-shaped relationship between the well-known measures of urbanization and urban primacy, a hypothesis that we test empirically using World Bank data.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

 

Understanding processes of path renewal and creation in thick specialized regional innovation systems. Evidence from two textile districts in Italy and Sweden

By: C. Chaminade, M. Bellandi, M. Plechero, E. Santini. Lund University, Papers in Innovation Studies, Paper no. 2018/13, 2018.

Abstract: “The type of regional innovation system (RIS) strongly affects possibilities of paths of industrial transformation. This paper argues that traditional manufacturing districts, corresponding to specialized RISs and characterised by various nuclei of specialization and know-how, may foster different trajectories in combination with extra-regional networks. In particular, the paper analyses the interplay between regional and national innovation systems, providing an overview of the effect that different multilevel dynamics have on local trajectories. The cases of the textile districts in Prato (Italy) and Borås (Sweden) show SRISs can display not only path extension but also path renewal and creation strategies.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

 

Technological Diversification and Smart Specialization: the role of cooperation

By: A. Santoalha. University of Oslo, TIK Working Papers on Innovation Studies No. 20190109, 2018.

Abstract: “Smart Specialization is closely associated with the concept of diversification. For better understanding of Smart Specialization, this article investigates one novel explanatory factor of technological diversification: cooperation (distinguishing between cooperation within regions and cooperation between regions). Using OECD REGPAT data on patents co-applications, the empirical analysis measures the role of cooperation between institutions on technological diversification in 226 European regions over 10 periods of 5 years each, 2000–2013. Although cooperation within and between regions is important as a determinant of regional diversification, both forms of cooperation should evolve hand in hand – singly, each form of cooperation may prove ineffective for boosting regional diversification.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

 

Are smart cities global cities? A European perspective

By: S. De Falco. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2019.1568396, 2019.

Abstract: “Typical of the 1990s, the global cities phenomenon preceded the past decade’s massive spread of smart cities. Yet the question of how the two phenomena currently coincide remains to be considered, as well as an analysis based on viewing smart cities as global cities. An analysis related to the European scenario is developed in this article, aimed at giving a response to the previous considerations. An index is also proposed; concerning the global character of the cities, it considers the ability of the cities to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Results of the proposed analysis show that in Europe four main scenarios exist. Two regarding positive and negative correlations between the diffusion of global and smart cities, and another two scenarios demonstrate cases in which the two features are not correlated. The first two cases are respectively related to smart cities that are also global cities. The last two cases deal with the presence of different drivers that are not related to smart urban plans, which could, however, drive the attraction of FDI or which could also promote smart actions without the thrust of FDI. Correlation and regression analyses complement the work.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

 

International research collaboration: An emerging domain of innovation studies?

By: K. Chen, Y. Zhang, X. Fu. Research Policy, Vol. 48, Iss. 1, pp. 149-168, 2019.

Abstract: “International research collaboration (IRC) has been increasingly important as an emerging area of innovation studies. This study reviews the intellectual base, main research trajectories and intellectual communities of the IRC research domain over the period 1957–2015. It integrates qualitative review and three quantitative analyses including co-citation network analysis, main path analysis and bibliographic coupling analysis. The results show that the IRC research has gone through three phases, namely, “emergence” (1957–1991), “fermentation” (1992–2005) and “take-off” (2006–2015) phases. The co-citation network analysis confirms that the IRC research field has been developed under the influence of two pioneering studies related to bibliometrics research. The main research trajectories in IRC studies over the three development phases and over the whole period are identified based on the main path analysis, which shows that co-authorship analysis is the main research method in IRC studies. A bibliographic coupling analysis suggests that the whole IRC research domain can be classified into five distinct intellectual areas: drivers of IRC, IRC patterns, IRC effects, IRC networks and IRC measurement. Seven topics for future research are also identified.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

 

Towards a segmentation of science parks: A typology study on science parks in Europe

By: W. K. B. Ng, R. Appel-Meulenbroek, M. Cloodt, T. Arentze. Research Policy, Vol. 48, Iss. 3, pp. 719-732, 2019.

Abstract: “Although science parks are established globally for decades as an innovation policy instrument to foster growth and networking, there is limited attention given towards research into possible types within these real estate objects. Prior attempts in categorising science parks are characterised by the limited number of cases and/or variables. Science parks are believed to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic value for firms and regions. Past academic research showed mixed results on these performances and it is reasoned that distinct types within science parks exist that might explain these unclear results. We argue that before we can grasp what science parks can do, we should know what they are. Therefore, a survey on science park characteristics was completed by 82 science park managers in Europe. A cluster analysis was conducted which grouped the 82 participating science parks in three types; ‘research’, ‘cooperative’, and ‘incubator’ locations. Next, differences and similarities of these three types within science parks in Europe were analysed as a basis for advancing the academic debate. The types provide further understanding of science parks and offer researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers a means to compare, market, and benchmark science parks more adequately.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]