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Low_Tech Innovation in a High-Tech Environment? The Case of the Food Industry in the Vienna Metropolitan Region

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  • Michaela Trippl

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Abstract

This paper explores the opportunities for low-tech innovations in regional high-tech contexts. The literature suggests that traditional sectors tend to be only weakly integrated in such socio-institutional environments, because the specific innovation mode of low-tech industries is not compatible with the institutional framework of high-tech. Focusing on the empirical case of the food industry situated in the Vienna metropolitan region, the paper provides evidence that the link between old industries and their high-tech contexts may be more complex than commonly thought. Drawing on 20 face-to-face interviews with local companies, knowledge providers (universities and other research organisations) and industry experts it is highlighted that strong and weak forms of integration in the regional innovation system (RIS) co-exist, depending on the specific RIS dimension under consideration. Innovative companies in the local food sector, thus, embed themselves in a selective way in their regional institutional context. They make use of the scientific competences available within the RIS whilst at the same time they tend to “bypass” the RIS and tap into knowledge sources located outside the region.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/sre-disc/sre-disc-2010_02.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business in its series SRE-Disc with number sre-disc-2010_02.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwsre:sre-disc-2010_02

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Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page: http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/ruw/

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References

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  1. Michaela Trippl & Franz Tödtling, 2006. "From the ivory tower to the market place? The changing role of knowledge organisations in spurring the development of biotechnology clusters in Austria," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2006_07, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  2. Hauknes, Johan & Knell, Mark, 2009. "Embodied knowledge and sectoral linkages: An input-output approach to the interaction of high- and low-tech industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 459-469, April.
  3. Menrad, K., 2004. "Innovations in the food industry in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 845-878, September.
  4. Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, 2008. "“Low-Tech” Innovations," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 19-43.
  5. Robertson, Paul L. & Patel, Parimal R., 2007. "New wine in old bottles: Technological diffusion in developed economies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 708-721, June.
  6. Smith, Keith, 2002. "What is the 'Knowledge Economy'? Knowledge Intensity and Distributed Knowledge Bases," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 06, United Nations University - INTECH.
  7. Paola Bertolini & Enrico Giovannetti, 2006. "Industrial districts and internationalization: the case of the agri-food industry in Modena, Italy," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 279-304, July.
  8. Michaela Trippl & Franz Tödtling & Lukas Lengauer, 2009. "Knowledge Sourcing Beyond Buzz and Pipelines: Evidence from the Vienna Software Sector," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(4), pages 443-462, October.
  9. Michaela Trippl & Franz Todtling, 2007. "Developing Biotechnology Clusters in Non-high Technology Regions—The Case of Austria," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 47-67.
  10. Kubitzki, Sabine & Anders, Sven, 2005. "Branchenspezifische Besonderheiten im Innovationsverhalten des Ernährungsgewerbes: Eine empirische Analyse des Mannheimer Innovationspanels," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 54(2).
  11. Todtling, Franz & Trippl, Michaela, 2005. "One size fits all?: Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1203-1219, October.
  12. W. Bruce Traill & Matthew Meulenberg, 2001. "Innovation in the food industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-21.
  13. Smith, Keith, 2002. "What is the 'Knowledge Economy'? Knowledge Intensity and Distributed Knowledge Bases," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 06, United Nations University - INTECH.
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