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The Top-Down Innovative Coordination Flows in Sophia Antipolis

  • Olivier Hueber

    ()

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS))

Sophia Antipolis was created by the public authorities to attract high value added activities on the French Riviera, in the aim of strengthening a local economy driven historically by tourism. The theoretical model that has inspired the creation of Sophia Antipolis is governed by a top-down approach. The agglomerations externalities, had not sprung up naturally from the dynamics of entreprises located in the cluster. The economic model of Sophia Antipolis is completely different of the traditional innovative district studied by Alfred Marshall (bottom-up approach). Nowadays, the cluster of Sophia-Antipolis is rich of external linkages, but poor of internal relations between the firms. In this local system of Innovation, a large numbers of actors in different sectors are present but any of them is sufficiently dominant to drive the cluster orientations. In this sense, this Local System of Innovation (LSI) is not reliable in the long run. Very few, almost no technological collaborations can be observed. The sustainability of the Sophia-Antipolis cluster does not really depend on the territory. the weakness of the cooperation between companies of the cluster can be partially explained by the local multinational firms which have their branch facilities located in the local system of innovation but at the same time their head office external to the cluster with main decision taken from outside, limiting the potential for local synergies and local collaboration. The aim of this paper is to understand the coordination mechanisms between enterprises and the main factors of success who made Sophia-Antipolis the largest technology park in the Europe. Such a study presents the Top-down strategy of developpement choosen by the government from the origins of Sophia-Antipolis to promote agglomeration externalities and the increasing returns to adoption gained by firms entering in the park.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00806571.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2012
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Publication status: Published - Presented, 15th Uddevalla Symposium Entrepreneurship and Innovation Networks, 2012, Faro, Portugal
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00806571
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00806571
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  1. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  2. Rani Jeanne Dang, 2009. "Territorial innovation dynamics and integration of SMEs into the collaborative innovation projects of French competitiveness poles: the underlying mechanisms," Post-Print halshs-00365159, HAL.
  3. 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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