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New tech spaces for old tech places? Exploring the network of research and technology organizations across North Italian Regions


  • Lorenzo Ciapetti
  • Paolo Perulli


This paper explores the industrial affiliation and linkages of research and technology organizations (RTOs) in nine North Italian regions highly specialized in advanced manufacturing and introduces a methodology to assess the potential for a cross-regional technology platform. RTOs are supposed to operate in the development and application phases of innovation and are expected to provide access to key enabling technologies and R&D infrastructures. An original survey panel of 55 Italian RTOs is used and Social network analysis is introduced to assess the potential of RTOs to operate as a single cross-regional platform across key industrial and technology domains. Centrality measures are used to build an empirical model on the factors that drive the higher centrality of RTOs. Centrality is increased by convergence on few key technology priorities and is positively correlated with collaborative ventures, the number of contracts with firms and the presence of distinctive R&D infrastructures. Such a platform rests on specialized regional hubs, it operates with no gatekeepers and it only partially exploits geographical and technological proximity within the network. Future research avenues are discussed to improve the function of technology diffusion of RTOs in a cross-regional perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Ciapetti & Paolo Perulli, 2018. "New tech spaces for old tech places? Exploring the network of research and technology organizations across North Italian Regions," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 192-211, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurpls:v:26:y:2018:i:1:p:192-211
    DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1386626

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Inmaculada PERIANEZ FORTE & MARINELLI Elisabetta & Dominique FORAY & John Huw EDWARDS & Martina PERTOLDI & Kevin Morgan & Krzysztof MIESZKOWSKI & Javier GOMEZ PRIETO & Claire Nauwelaers & Ruslan RAKHM, 2016. "Implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies: A Handbook," JRC Research Reports JRC102764, Joint Research Centre.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gennaro Strazzullo & William J. Ion & Jillian MacBryde, 2022. "An Investigation of the Translational Asset: A Proposed Classification," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 13(4), pages 3123-3149, December.

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