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Gatekeepers in regional networks of innovators

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  • Holger Graf

    ()
    (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, School of Business and Economics)

Abstract

The internal density of a local network is said to increase the region-specific knowledge-stock and might lead 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 attempt to answer questions related to 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 overall degree of interaction and with respect to their relative outward orienta- tion. Concerning the characteristics of gatekeepers, we find that size does not play the major role for being a gatekeeper. It is rather absorptive capacity that matters for gatekeepers. It also shows that 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 Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-054.

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Date of creation: 10 Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-054

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Keywords: Innovator networks; Gatekeeper; R+D co-operation; Scientist 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. 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.
  3. Tom Broekel & Thomas Brenner, 2009. "Regional Factors and Innovativeness - An Empirical Analysis of Four German Industries," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0917, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Oct 2009.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Viktor Slavtchev & Florian Noseleit, 2011. "Universities as Agents of Change," ERSA conference papers ersa10p340, European Regional Science Association.
  10. 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.

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