Innovation dynamics in space: local actors and local factors
This paper addresses the issue of technogenesis and its geographical pattern. It aims to offer both a general analysis framework and a test on innovation data from several European cities. This framework is mainly built on the product life-cycle and the incubation approach. On the basis of this framework, it is argued that the phases of an industrial life-cycle have several firm-specific effects. First, these phases influence innovativeness and thus profit levels, output and employment of firms in a spatially distinct way. Second, the phases of the life-cycle mirror the importance of local factors for innovations, and third, they affect strategic decisions of firms, inter alia by influencing the source of the competitive edge. Furthermore, this paper also aims to model effects of relevant local factors on innovativeness bymeans of logit analysis, subsequent to a qualitative impact approach based on the recently developed rough set analysis. Our empirical results from various European cities show that the successive phases of the industrial life-cycle tend to create spatially recognizable impacts on innovativeness of firms.Accordingly, the evolution of the importance of local factors for innovations is also found to reflect a distinct time path. Among more than 20 local factors, the interviewed firms appear to consider support measures for skills training particularly important for innovations. Accordingly, the results of our logit models reveal that in particular skills training links with a local university contribute significantly to the propensity to innovate.
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