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The Location of Multinationals in Industrial Districts: Knowledge Transfer in Biomedicals

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  • Biggiero, Lucio

Abstract

In order to access and exploit knowledge, MNCs are induced to make FDI in technological districts. It occurs in a two-step process: first joint venture and then acquisition. This perspective is consistent with the evolutionary theory of multinational corporations, which looks at technology transfer as a sound rationale for FDI. The location strategy of multinationals produces a reorganization of district structure and a change in its evolutionary pattern: MNCs become catalysts, bring in new finance, ideas and managerial practices, open the district to external markets and international flows of technology. Biomedical Valley in Italy is a recent high-tech district that fits this picture well. It demonstrates that the rationale for FDI was not wage differentials with parent countries, but rather local knowledge and innovation. Knowledge transfer through subcontractors diffuses and recombines inside the district in two ways: becoming the medium for the dissemination of new codes, procedures and knowledge within the district, and evolving from the role of subcontractors to that of independent producers of final products. The case of biomedical district also induces changes of a number of stereotypes and common beliefs about industrial districts and MNCs. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Biggiero, Lucio, 2002. "The Location of Multinationals in Industrial Districts: Knowledge Transfer in Biomedicals," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 111-122, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:27:y:2002:i:1:p:111-22
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    Cited by:

    1. Sandrine Labory, 2011. "Role of external knowledge flows in cluster upgrading: an empirical analysis of the Mirandola biomedical district in Italy," Working Papers 2011R05, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
    2. Huo, Jingjing, 2015. "How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198735847.
    3. Fiorenza BELUSSI & Luciano PILOTTI & Silvia Rita SEDITA, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and the exploration of global knowledge flows," Departmental Working Papers 2006-40, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Trippl , Michaela & Grillitsch , Markus & Isaksen , Arne, 2015. "External “energy” for regional industrial change: attraction and absorption of non-local knowledge for new path development," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/47, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    5. Stefano Elia & Lucia Piscitello & Sergio Mariotti, 2013. "Industrial Districts, Core Cities And Ownership Strategy Of Multinational Firms Investing In Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p27, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Sandrine Labory, 2011. "Role of external knowledge flows in cluster upgrading: an empirical analysis of the Mirandola biomedical district in Italy," Working Papers 201114, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    7. Lengyel, Balázs & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2015. "The Effects of FDI on Innovation Systems in Hungarian Regions: Where is the Synergy Generated?," MPRA Paper 73945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Fiorenza Belussi & Silvia R. Sedita, 2012. "Industrial Districts as Open Learning Systems: Combining Emergent and Deliberate Knowledge Structures," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 165-184, April.
    9. Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Patents and the Technological Performance of District Firms Evidence for the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    10. Sergio Mariotti & Lucia Piscitello & Stefano Elia, 2014. "Local Externalities and Ownership Choices in Foreign Acquisitions by Multinational Enterprises," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(2), pages 187-211, April.
    11. Michel Barabel & Isabelle Huault & Olivier Meier, 2007. "Changing Nature and Sustainability of the Industrial District Model: The Case of Technic Valley in France," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 595-620.
    12. Sören Eriksson, 2011. "Promotion of Company and Local Economic Growth through Clusters," Chapters,in: Media Clusters, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Fiorenza Belussi & Alessia Sammarra, 2006. "Evolution and Relocation in Fashion-led Italian Districts: Evidence from two Case-Studies," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0023, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    14. Fiorenza Belussi & Luciano Pilotti & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and exploration of global knowledge flows," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0033, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

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