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Network for innovation as a way to enhance competitiveness: an overview of Italian food SMEs entering networks

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  • Minarelli, F.
  • Raggi, M.
  • Viaggi, D.

Abstract

Nowadays innovation represents a strategy to face the economic crisis affecting many sectors globally. It is believed that innovation is one of the most significant factors for the enhancement of competitiveness. Innovation is identified with the creation of value by companies, and networking is believed to be a key way to contribute to the better value creation. In particular networking is object of increasing interest not only by academics but also by political institutions, firstly European Union, due to the beliefs that it can foster innovation among SMEs and hence enhances competitiveness. The development of innovation may requires R&D support from outside and the collaboration with other organizations. It is hence recognized the essential role of networking for the innovation and the participation of SMEs in networks as pivotal strategy. European economy is characterized by SMEs and particularly the agri-food sector. This study carries out an investigation, based on a web survey of Italian food SMEs, presenting an overview of Italian food SMEs engaged in collaborations for innovation purposes. Especially, the examination focuses on the identification of types of organizations mainly involved in collaborations for the resources acquisition and structural factors characterizing such SMEs. Data collection of Italian food SMEs is accomplished by standardized questionnaires designed to be compiled on line in anonymous way. Findings show higher frequency of SMEs involved in collaboration with suppliers for innovation purposes. However, in term of realized innovation, SMEs collaborating with universities demonstrate higher frequency of enhanced innovation. This work presents an additional value in term of comprehension not only for their impact on the nature of the network but also for the conceptualization of proper network able to encourage firm’s participation. Additionally, it must be point out that results from such studies cannot be generalized and extended to outside SMEs nation, hence factors involved in other SMEs cultures need to be carefully investigated at each country’s level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA) in its series 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy with number 149934.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aiea13:149934

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Web page: http://www.aieaa.org/
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Keywords: network; innovation; SMEs; Industrial Organization; Productivity Analysis; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; O31; O32;

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  1. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1987. "Innovation, Market Structure, and Firm Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 567-74, November.
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  3. Dhamvithee, Pisit & Shankar, Bhavani & Jangchud, Anuvat & Wuttijumnong, Phaisarn, 2005. "New Product Development in Thai Agro-Industry: Explaining the Rates of Innovation and Success in Innovation," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 8(03).
  4. Xavier Gellynck & Bert Vermeire & Jacques Viaene, 2007. "Innovation in food firms: contribution of regional networks within the international business context," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 209-226, May.
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  6. Lee, Sungjoo & Park, Gwangman & Yoon, Byungun & Park, Jinwoo, 2010. "Open innovation in SMEs--An intermediated network model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 290-300, March.
  7. Huiban, Jean-Pierre & Bouhsina, Zouhair, 1998. " Innovation and the Quality of Labour Factor: An Empirical Investigation in the French Food Industry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 389-400, June.
  8. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Marco Vivarelli & Peter Voigt, 2009. "R&D in SMEs: a paradox?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 3-11, June.
  9. Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas, 2004. "Network structure and the diffusion of knowledge," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1557-1575, June.
  10. Ángela Triguero & David Córcoles & María C. Cuerva, 2013. "Differences in Innovation Between Food and Manufacturing Firms: An Analysis of Persistence," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 273-292, 06.
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