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Innovation in Europe: A Tale of Networks, Knowledge and Trade in Five Cities

Listed author(s):
  • James Simmie
  • James Sennett
  • Peter Wood
  • Doug Hart
Registered author(s):

    This paper identifies four groups of theory that seek to explain the relationships between innovation and space. These are traditional agglomeration theory, networking, learning and new competitiveness theory. Evidence on the last three, most recent theories is sought by analysing the results of comparable surveys of innovative firms in Amsterdam, London, Milan, Paris and Stuttgart. The empirical results show that differences occur in the external relationships between firms and the global economy with respect to specific innovation projects. Broadly speaking the main differences identified show that in regional cities such as Stuttgart and Milan innovative activities are more linked to their regional and national economies than they are in the international world cities such as Paris and London. This suggests that attempts to generalize the network paradigm on industrial production are premature at least as far as innovation is concerned. Conversely, the data demonstrate the significance of trading systems between firms both in terms of knowledge acquisition and the supply of inputs to, and demands for, innovation. Many of these are located internationally. International innovation trading systems are therefore shown to be key features of the geography of innovation. Cet article identifie quatre groupes de theories qui cherchent a expliquer le rapport entre l'innovation et l'espace: a savoir, la theorie d'agglomeration classique, la constitution de reseaux, l'apprentissage, et la nouvelle theorie de competitivite. A partir d'une analyse des resultats provenant des enquetes comparables aupres des entreprises innovatrices situees a Amsterdam, a Londres, a Milan, a Paris et a Stuttgart, on cherche des preuves en ce qui concerne les trois dernieres theories, qui sont les plus recentes. Les resultats empiriques laissent voir qu'il existe des differences dans les rapports externes entre des entreprises et l'economie mondiale quant a certains projets a caractere innovateur. En regle generale, les principales differences identifiees demontrent que dans les grandes villes d'importance regionale, voire Stuttgart et Milan, les projets a caractere innovateur s'averent plus lies aux economies regionale et nationale que ne le sont les grandes villes d'importance internationale, voire Paris et Londres. Cela laisse supposer que les tentatives de generaliser le paradigme des reseaux a propos de la production industrielle sont prematurees, du moins pour ce qui est de l'innovation. Par contre, les donnees demontrent l'importance des systemes d'echanges interentreprises, a la fois en termes de l'acquisition de connaissances, l'offre de facteurs necessaires a l'innovation et la demande d'innovation, disponibles en large partie sur le plan international. Il s'ave ¤ re alors que les syste ¤ mes d'echanges relatifs a ¤ l'innovation internationale sont des elements cles de la geographie de l'innovation. Dieser Aufsatz stellt vier Theoriekreise heraus, die Beziehungen zwischen Innovation und Raum zu erklaren suchen: die traditionelle Agglomerationstheorie, Rechnerverbund, Lernen und die neue Theorie der Wettbewerbsfahigkeit. Beweise der drei letzteren, erst kurzlich aufgestellten Theorien werden mittels Analyse der Ergebnisse vergleichbarer Untersuchungen innovativer Firmen in Amsterdam, London, Mailand, Paris und Stuttgart aufgestellt. Die empirischen Ergebnisse zeigen, dass im Hinblick auf spezifische Innovationsprojekte Unterschiede in den Aussenbeziehungen zwischen Firmen und der globalen Wirtschaft auftreten. Allgemein gesehen, zeigen die Hauptunterschiede, die als solche erkannt werden, dass in regionalen Hauptstadten wie Stuttgart und Mailand innovative Tatigkeit enger mit der Regional- und Landeswirtschaft verknupft ist als in internationalen Weltstadten wie Paris und London. Dies legt nahe, dass Versuche, das Musterbeispiel des Rechnerverbunds fur Industrieproduktion zu verallgemeinern, verfruht sind, zumindest insoweit als sie Innovation betreffen. Umgekehrt zeigen die Daten die Signifikanz der Handelssysteme zwischen Firmen auf, und zwar sowohl in Bezug auf ihre Aneignung von Kenntnissen als auch hinsichtlich des Angebots von Aufwand fur und der Nachfrage nach Innovation. Viele davon haben internationale Standorte. Internationale, Innovationshandel betreibende Systeme erweisen sich deshalb als die Hauptzu¨ge der Innovationsgeographie.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 47-64

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:1:p:47-64
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400120099852
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    1. Vernon, Raymond, 1979. "The Product Cycle Hypothesis in a New International Environment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 41(4), pages 255-267, November.
    2. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988, June.
    3. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
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