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Multiscalar Clusters And Networks As The Foundations Of Innovation Dynamics In The Biopharmaceutical Industry

Listed author(s):
  • Marc-Hubert DEPRET


    (University Henri Poincaré)

  • Abdelillah HAMDOUCH


    (University of Lille 1)

Based on the case of the biopharmaceutical industry, the aim of this paper is to challenge the core conviction now widespread within the “spatial clustering theory”, which devotes a key (if not exclusive) role to geographical proximity in explaining clustering dynamics of innovation activities within spe-cific territories. Our argument is threefold. First, mere geographical proximity is not enough; in many cases, cognitive, organizational and strategic forms of proximity are often at least as crucial as the topological closeness among inno-vation actors. Second, our idea is that clusters are fundamentally the territoria-lized outcome of combinations of inter-organizational and social networks among actors pursuing common goals, each of these actors having a specific territorial and social embedding that allows him or her (or not) to operate and interact at different spatial scales. These networks are socially and territorially embedded, but they can operate at various spatial scales. Third, sector-driven dynamics – as is in the case of biopharmaceuticals – may structurally frame the way the actors interact and collaborate in R&D projects and innovation proce-sses. Indeed, the dynamics underlying the emergence, structuring and evolution of biopharmaceutical clusters are both multi-actor and multiscalar. In this perspective, clusters and networks appear to be intertwined phenomena, con-substantial one to each other, and co-evolving organizational modes of biop-harmaceutical innovation.

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Article provided by Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var in its journal Région et Développement.

Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 227-268

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Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:33:y:2011:p:227-268
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  1. Jason Owen-Smith & Massimo Riccaboni & Fabio Pammolli & Walter W. Powell, 2002. "A Comparison of U.S. and European University-Industry Relations in the Life Sciences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 24-43, January.
  2. Marc-Hubert Depret & Abdelillah Hamdouch, 2009. "Clusters, réseaux d'innovation et dynamiques de proximité dans les secteurs high-tech. Une revue critique de la littérature récente," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 21-52.
  3. Anne Ter Wal & Ron Boschma, 2011. "Co-evolution of Firms, Industries and Networks in Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(7), pages 919-933.
  4. Lemarie, Stephane & Mangematin, Vincent & Torre, Andre, 2001. "Is the Creation and Development of Biotech SMEs Localised? Conclusions Drawn from the French Case," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1-2), pages 61-76, Aug.-Sept.
  5. Marc-Hubert Depret, 2002. "Coalitions et réseaux de firmes : les nouvelles stratégies concurrentielles dans la globalisation," Post-Print halshs-00006698, HAL.
  6. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  7. Anne Ter Wal & Ron Boschma, 2009. "Applying social network analysis in economic geography: framing some key analytic issues," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 43(3), pages 739-756, September.
  8. Abdellilah Hamdouch, 2002. "Coalitions et réseaux de firmes : les nouvelles stratégies concurrentielles dans la globalisation," Post-Print halshs-00197006, HAL.
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