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Essential ingredients for radical innovations? The role of (un-)related variety and external linkages in Germany

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  • Kolja Hesse
  • Dirk Fornahl

Abstract

The role of radical innovations for the economy has received increasing attention by German policy makers. This paper investigates how (un-)related variety and external linkages influence these innovations in German labour market regions. Evidence is found that related and unrelated knowledge capabilities both support the emergence of radical innovations, although strong related capabilities are especially important. External linkages have an inverted u-shape relation to radically new ideas and can act as substitute for missing unrelated competences in a region. The results shed new light on the emergence of radical innovations and thus have interesting scientific and practical implications.

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  • Kolja Hesse & Dirk Fornahl, 2020. "Essential ingredients for radical innovations? The role of (un-)related variety and external linkages in Germany," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2007, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Feb 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:2007
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    Cited by:

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    2. Naudé, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2022. "The Ossified Economy: The Case of Germany, 1870-2020," IZA Discussion Papers 15607, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Ron Boschma, 2021. "Complementary interregional linkages and Smart Specialisation: an empirical study on European regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(6), pages 1059-1070, June.
    4. Ron Boschma & Ernest Miguélez & Rosina Moreno & Diego B. Ocampo-Corrales, 2021. "Technological breakthroughs in European regions: the role of related and unrelated combinations," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2021-10, Bordeaux School of Economics (BSE).
    5. Hesse, Kolja, 2020. "Unlocking the radical potential of German innovators How can R&D policy foster radical innovation?," Papers in Innovation Studies 2020/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    6. Kopka, Alexander & Grashof, Nils, 2022. "Artificial intelligence: Catalyst or barrier on the path to sustainability?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).

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    Keywords

    Radical innovations; related variety; unrelated variety; external linkages; labour market regions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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