Innovation patterns and location of European low- and medium-technology industries
Does a specific innovation pattern of low- and medium-low-technology (LMT) industries exist, and if so, can this pattern be the basis for autonomous, economically successful development? This study based on Fourth Community Innovation Survey (CIS4) data finds, as predicted by Pavitt [Pavitt, K., 1984. Sectoral patterns of technical change: towards a taxonomy and a theory. Research Policy 13, 343-373], that LMT industries are characterised by process, organisational and marketing innovations, by weak internal innovation capabilities and by strong dependencies on the external provision of machines, equipment and software. Suppliers are the most important source for their information and knowledge. On the one hand, firms in LMT industries are an essential pillar of advanced industrial regions. On the other hand, an alternative growth path-based predominantly on LMT industries does not appear to exist. LMT industries are shrinking in Western Europe and companies in these industries are relocating to Eastern Europe. In general, regions with a high proportion of LMT industries have a lower gross domestic product, though so do regions with high proportions of high- and medium-high-technology industries. The economic potential of regions specialised in knowledge-intensive services and characterised by high employment rates and qualified employees is higher than that of industrial regions.
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