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Innovation, Networking and Proximity: Lessons from Small High Technology Firms in the UK

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  • Henny Romijn
  • Mike Albu
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    Abstract

    The article explores how the innovative performance of small high-tech firms relates to their external networking activities, and whether geographical proximity in their network relations matters. Data from a small sample of electronics firms and software developers in South East England are used to construct indicators of innovativeness, which are correlated with variables capturing intensity of external interactions and proximity benefits. The regional science base is found to have played a key role in nurturing new high-tech ventures, but science parks had not contributed to this. Interaction with parties with complementary capabilities such as suppliers and service providers is also associated with high innovative performance. However, the findings do not support the current policy fashion of encouraging regional networks revolving around firms in similar business activities and close customer relations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 81-86

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:1:p:81-86

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    Related research

    Keywords: Science And Technology Policy; Innovation Policy; Sme; Clusters; Networks; Uk;

    References

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    1. Westhead, Paul & Cowling, Marc, 1995. " Employment Change in Independent Owner-Managed High-Technology Firms in Great Britain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 111-40, April.
    2. Cooke, Philip & Gomez Uranga, Mikel & Etxebarria, Goio, 1997. "Regional innovation systems: Institutional and organisational dimensions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 475-491, December.
    3. Audretsch, David B, 1998. "Agglomeration and the Location of Innovative Activity," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 18-29, Summer.
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    Cited by:
    1. Quatraro Francesco, 2011. "Knowledge Structure and Regional Economic Growth: The French case," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201112, University of Turin.
    2. Pedro Valadas Monteiro & Teresa de Noronha & Paulo Neto, 2011. "The Importance of Clusters for Sustainable Innovation Processes: The Context of Small and Medium Sized Regions," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2011_24, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    3. Francesco Quatraro, 2012. "The Co-Evolution of Knowledge and Economic Structure: Evidence from European Regions," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-16, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    4. Quatraro, Francesco, 2010. "Knowledge coherence, variety and economic growth: Manufacturing evidence from Italian regions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1289-1302, December.
    5. Weterings, Anet & Boschma, Ron, 2009. "Does spatial proximity to customers matter for innovative performance?: Evidence from the Dutch software sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 746-755, June.
    6. Ana María Fernández Pérez & María Dolores León Rodríguez, 2006. "Actividades de i+d e innovación en las regiones de Europa: Indicadores y experiencias de éxito," Revista de Estudios Regionales, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, vol. 2, pages 77-103.
    7. Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "Co-evolutionary patterns in regional knowledge bases and economic structure: evidence from European Regions," Working Papers hal-00992080, HAL.
    8. Doran, Justin & Jordan, Declan, 2012. "Cross Sectoral Differences in Drivers of Innovation," MPRA Paper 44470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Francesco Quatraro, 2009. "The diffusion of regional innovation capabilities: Evidence from Italian patent data," Post-Print halshs-00727623, HAL.
    10. Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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