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Proximity and the Evolution of Collaboration Networks: Evidence from R&D Projects within the GNSS Industry

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  • Pierre-Alexandre Balland

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Abstract

Increasing attention had been given recently to understand how networks affect organizational performance in innovation studies. Surprisingly, underlying mechanisms of their evolution have been more neglected, and still remain unclear. This lack of interest is denounced today by recent papers which claim that it is a crucial issue for economic geography. Especially the influence of different forms of proximity on the networkÌs changes needs to be clarified. This paper contributes to this ongoing debate by determining empirically how organizations choose their partners given to their geographical, organizational, institutional, cognitive and social proximity. The relational database is constructed from publicly available information on the R&D collaborative projects of the 6th European Union Framework Program within the navigation by satellite industry (GNSS). Patterns of evolution of the GNSS collaboration network are determined according to a longitudinal study of the relational changes occurred between four consecutive years, from 2004 to 2007. Empirical results show that geographical, organizational and institutional proximity favour collaboration. Inversely, organizations prefer to avoid partnerships when they share a cognitive proximity (same knowledge bases). The last result demonstrates that the kind of project studied does not create a sufficient level of social proximity to stimulate collaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Alexandre Balland, 2009. "Proximity and the Evolution of Collaboration Networks: Evidence from R&D Projects within the GNSS Industry," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0914, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0914
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0914.pdf
    File Function: Version October 2009
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2011. "The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1118, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.
    2. Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2011. "The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 295-307, March.
    3. Joan Crespo & Raphaël Suire & Jérôme Vicente, 2016. "Network structural properties for cluster long-run dynamics: evidence from collaborative R&D networks in the European mobile phone industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 261-282.
    4. Corinne Autant-Bernard & Cilem Selin Hazir, 2011. "Conceptualizing the Role of Geographical Proximity in Project Based R&D Networks: A Literature Survey," Post-Print halshs-00674345, HAL.
    5. Ron Boschma & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Dieter Kogler, 2011. "A relational approach to knowledge spillovers in biotech. Network structures as drivers of inter-organizational citation patterns," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1120, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Dec 2011.
    6. Stefano Usai & Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2017. "Networks, Proximities, and Interfirm Knowledge Exchanges," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 40(4), pages 377-404, July.
    7. Cilem Selin Hazir & Corinne Autant-Bernard, 2012. "Using Affiliation Networks to Study the Determinants of Multilateral Research Cooperation Some empirical evidence from EU Framework Programs in biotechnology," Working Papers 1212, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    8. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Mathijs De Vaan & Ron Boschma, 2013. "The dynamics of interfirm networks along the industry life cycle: The case of the global video game industry, 1987--2007," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 741-765, September.
    9. Ron Boschma & Dirk Fornahl, 2011. "Cluster Evolution and a Roadmap for Future Research," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1295-1298, November.
    10. Rachel LEVY (LEREPS) & Damien TALBOT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2010. "Control by proximity: evidence from Aerospace Valley competitiveness cluster (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2010-08, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    11. Iris Wanzenböck & Thomas Scherngell & Thomas Brenner, 2014. "Embeddedness of regions in European knowledge networks: a comparative analysis of inter-regional R&D collaborations, co-patents and co-publications," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(2), pages 337-368, September.
    12. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 409-433, March.
    13. Mario Maggioni & Teodora Uberti & Mario Nosvelli, 2014. "Does intentional mean hierarchical? Knowledge flows and innovative performance of European regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(2), pages 453-485, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    proximity; collaboration networks; innovation; network longitudinal analysis; R&D collaborative projects; SIENA;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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