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Gatekeepers in Regional Networks of Innovators

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  • Holger Graf

Abstract

Strong interaction of innovative actors within a local network is commonly said to increase the region-specific knowledge-stock, leading to a comparative advantage. However, it might also lead to a lock-in situation, if local trajectories are directed towards inferior solutions. Accordingly, it is argued that successful clusters are characterised by the existence of gatekeepers, i.e. actors that generate novelty by drawing on local and external knowledge. We study the role and characteristics of gatekeepers within regional innovation systems by applying social network analysis based on patent data for four East-German regions. The regional networks appear to be significantly different with respect to the degree of interaction and with respect to their outward orientation. Concerning the characteristics of gatekeepers, we find that absorptive capacity is more important than size. Public research organisations serve the functions of a gatekeeper to a higher degree than private actors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 08-19.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:08-19

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Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

Related research

Keywords: Innovator networks; Gatekeeper; R&D co-operation; Mobility;

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Cited by:
  1. Maureen McKelvey & Bastian Rake, 2012. "Research Network Position and Innovative Performance: Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-021, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Stefano Breschi & Camilla Lenzi, 2014. "The role of external linkages and gatekeepers for the renewal and expansion of U.S. cities’ knowledge base, 1990-2004," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1414, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jun 2014.
  3. Sverre Herstad & Øyvind Pålshaugen & Bernd Ebersberger, 2011. "Industrial Innovation Collaboration in a Capital Region Context," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 507-532, December.
  4. Jérôme Vicente & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Olivier Brossard, 2008. "Getting Into Networks and Clusters: Evidence on the GNSS composite knowledge process in (and from) Midi-Pyrénées," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0815, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Oct 2008.
  5. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 409-433, March.
  6. Boari, Cristina & Riboldazzi, Federico, 2014. "How knowledge brokers emerge and evolve: The role of actors’ behaviour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 683-695.
  7. Viktor Slavtchev & Florian Noseleit, 2011. "Universities as Agents of Change," ERSA conference papers ersa10p340, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Tom Broekel & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "Regional factors and innovativeness: an empirical analysis of four German industries," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 169-194, August.
  9. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2011. "The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1118, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.
  10. Matthias Böttcher, 2010. "Global and local networks in the Solar Energy Industry - The case of the San Francisco Bay Area," NEURUS papers neurusp143, NEURUS - Network of European and US Regional and Urban Studies.
  11. Fredin, Sabrina, 2013. "New Perspectives on Innovative Entrepreneurship and Path Dependence – A Regional Approach," CITR Working Paper Series 2013/06, Center for Innovation and Technology Research, Blekinge Institute of Technology.
  12. Antonelli, Cristiano & Barbierini Amidei, Federico & Fassio, Claudio, 2012. "The mechanisms of knowledge governance: State owned enterprises and Italian economic growth, 1950-1994," 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 201210, University of Turin.

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