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Cluster emergence and network evolution A longitudinal analysis of the inventor network in Sophia-Antipolis

  • Anne L. J. ter Wal

    (Urban and Regional Research Centre (URU))

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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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2008-21.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0821
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  1. Ejermo, Olof & Karlsson, Charlie, 2006. "Interregional inventor networks as studied by patent coinventorships," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 412-430, April.
  2. 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.
  3. S. Klepper & S. Sleeper, 2002. "Entry by Spinoffs," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2002-07, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  4. Anne ter Wal & Ron A. Boschma, 2007. "Co-evolution of firms, industries and networks in space," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0707, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2007.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2004. "An empirical look at software patents," Working Papers 03-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. R. Cowan & N. Jonard & J.-B. Zimmermann, 2006. "Evolving networks of inventors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 155-174, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Uwe Cantner & Holger Graf, 2004. "The Network of Innovators in Jena: An Application of Social Network Analysis," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 04/2004, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  17. 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.
  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. Lee Fleming & Koen Frenken, 2006. "The evolution of inventor networks in the Silicon Valley and Boston regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0609, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jul 2006.
  20. 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.
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