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Interdisciplinary research and geography: Overcoming barriers through proximity


  • Josephine V. Rekers
  • Teis Hansen


Contributions on interdisciplinary research have so far focused on barriers to such collaborations and strategies for overcoming these. In this paper, we propose that a geographical perspective contributes to understand the formation of successful interdisciplinary research collaborations. The empirical analysis of a centre for clinical cancer research illustrates the importance of considering the role of geographical proximity to collaborators and decision-makers, as well as the co-location of excellent research groups within different fields, in overcoming barriers to interdisciplinary research. We suggest that policies aimed at stimulating lasting interdisciplinary research collaborations should take the distance between collaborators into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Josephine V. Rekers & Teis Hansen, 2015. "Interdisciplinary research and geography: Overcoming barriers through proximity," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 242-254.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:scippl:v:42:y:2015:i:2:p:242-254.

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    Cited by:

    1. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2017. "Nothing is in the Air," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 22-39, March.
    2. Grillitsch, Markus & Hansen, Teis & Coenen, Lars & Miörner, Johan & Moodysson, Jerker, 2019. "Innovation policy for system-wide transformation: The case of strategic innovation programmes (SIPs) in Sweden," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 1048-1061.
    3. Osnat Wine & Osmar R. Zaiane & Alvaro R. Osornio Vargas, 2019. "A Collaborative Research Exploration of Pollutant Mixtures and Adverse Birth Outcomes by Using Innovative Spatial Data Mining Methods: The DoMiNO Project," Challenges, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, March.
    4. Coenen, Lars & Grillitsch, Markus & Hansen, Teis & Moodysson, Jerker, 2017. "An innovation system framework for system innovation policy: the case of Strategic Innovation Programs (SIPs) in Sweden," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation Research.

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