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Social Foundations of Regional Innovation and the Role of University Spin-Offs: The Case of Canada's Technology Triangle


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  • Harald Bathelt
  • Dieter Kogler
  • Andrew Munro


The goal of this paper is to explore the social foundations of regional innovation by analyzing the role of universities in promoting technology transfer and the creation of innovation networks. The argument put forward is that regional innovation benefits from, and is stimulated by, horizontal and vertical knowledge flows and trans-regional networks, enabling firms to benefit from wider knowledge transfers between old and new establishments, large and small operations, and within and across sectors. The empirical study focuses on the Kitchener and Guelph metropolitan areas, referred to as Canada's Technology Triangle (CTT), where a larger number of firms related to information technology (IT) have been successfully launched since the 1970s in the area surrounding the University of Waterloo. This research investigates to what degree these university spin-offs and start-ups have established regional networks in innovation, their level of dependence on global knowledge networks, and whether this dynamic has produced spillovers to other regional industries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Industry and Innovation.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 461-486

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Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:5:p:461-486

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Keywords: Regional innovation; regional networks; university spin-offs; technology transfer; Canada's Technology Triangle (CTT);


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