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Cluster Emergence and Network Evolution: A longitudinal analysis of the inventor network in Sophia-Antipolis


  • Anne Ter Wal



A widely held view in cluster research is that clusters are characterized by the presence of networks of local collective learning. However, with a growing number of studies indicating this is not necessarily the case, the question arises under which conditions clusters exhibit dense networks of local collective learning. Taking a longitudinal view at the high-tech cluster of Sophia-Antipolis this paper investigates whether and how networks of collective learning among inventors emerged throughout the growth of the cluster from the late 1970s onwards. On the basis of EPO and USPTO patent data we reconstructed co-inventorship networks for the cluster’s two main industries. Detecting a network of local collective learning only in Information Technology, in which growth has been increasingly based on spin-offs and start-ups, and not in Life Sciences, we suggest that the extent and nature of the local concentration of firms over time strongly affect the evolution of local collective learning networks.

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  • Anne Ter Wal, 2008. "Cluster Emergence and Network Evolution: A longitudinal analysis of the inventor network in Sophia-Antipolis," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0810, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0810

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R. Cowan & N. Jonard & J.-B. Zimmermann, 2006. "Evolving networks of inventors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 155-174, April.
    2. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
    3. Dahl, Michael S. & Pedersen, Christian O.R., 2004. "Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1673-1686, December.
    4. Cantner, Uwe & Graf, Holger, 2006. "The network of innovators in Jena: An application of social network analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 463-480, May.
    5. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    6. Krafft, Jackie, 2004. "Entry, exit and knowledge: evidence from a cluster in the info-communications industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1687-1706, December.
    7. Asheim, Bjorn T & Isaksen, Arne, 2002. "Regional Innovation Systems: The Integration of Local 'Sticky' and Global 'Ubiquitous' Knowledge," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 77-86, January.
    8. 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.
    9. James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2007. "An Empirical Look at Software Patents," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 157-189, March.
    10. Ejermo, Olof & Karlsson, Charlie, 2006. "Interregional inventor networks as studied by patent coinventorships," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 412-430, April.
    11. Christian Longhi, 1999. "Networks, Collective Learning and Technology Development in Innovative High Technology Regions: The Case of Sophia-Antipolis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 333-342.
    12. Steven Klepper & Sally Sleeper, 2005. "Entry by Spinoffs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(8), pages 1291-1306, August.
    13. Paul Almeida & Bruce Kogut, 1999. "Localization of Knowledge and the Mobility of Engineers in Regional Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(7), pages 905-917, July.
    14. Elisa Giuliani, 2005. "The Structure of Cluster Knowledge Networks Uneven, not Pervasive and Collective," DRUID Working Papers 05-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    15. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
    16. Casper, Steven, 2007. "How do technology clusters emerge and become sustainable?: Social network formation and inter-firm mobility within the San Diego biotechnology cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 438-455, May.
    17. Peter Maskell & Anders Malmberg, 2007. "Myopia, knowledge development and cluster evolution," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 603-618, September.
    18. Acs, Zoltan J. & Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila, 2002. "Patents and innovation counts as measures of regional production of new knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1069-1085, September.
    19. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2003. "Mobility and Social Networks: Localised Knowledge Spillovers Revisited," KITeS Working Papers 142, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2003.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Longhi, 2017. "Cluster Dynamics: Learning from Competitiveness Cluster Policy. The Case of 'Secure Communicating Solutions' in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-42, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    2. Corral de Zubielqui Graciela & Statsenko Larissa & Jones Janice, 2016. "Managing Innovation Networks for Knowledge Mobility and Appropriability: A Complexity Perspective," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 75-109, January.
    3. Christian Longhi, 2015. "Clusters and collective learning networks: the case of the Competitiveness Cluster ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region," Working Papers halshs-01248304, HAL.
    4. Sun, Yutao, 2016. "The structure and dynamics of intra- and inter-regional research collaborative networks: The case of China (1985–2008)," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 70-82.
    5. Christian Longhi, 2015. "Clusters and Collective Learning Networks: The Case of the Competitiveness Cluster 'Secure Communicating Solutions' in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-28, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    6. repec:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:8:p:1179-1191 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Max-Peter Menzel & Maryann P. Feldman & Tom Broekel, 2017. "Institutional change and network evolution: explorative and exploitative tie formations of co-inventors during the dot-com bubble in the Research Triangle region," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 1179-1191, August.
    8. Christian Longhi, 2017. "Cluster dynamics: learning from Competitiveness Cluster policy. The case of ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region," Working Papers halshs-01675684, HAL.
    9. Ivano D'Antonio, 2015. "Cooperazione e spesa in R&S: evidenze empiriche dalla Community Innovation Survey," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(116), pages 90-110.

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    cluster evolution; network evolution; collective learning; Sophia-Antipolis;

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