Spatial Inventor Networks As Studied by Patent Coinventorship
We study the structure of the spatial inventor networks in Sweden by examining the residence of inventors and coinventors in Swedish patent applications to the European Patent Office. Several factors are found to influence the spatial affinity. We find that spatial affinity is strongly influenced by the general size of the nodes, as measured by population. In addition, affinities are strongly influenced by distance, but different technologies responded differently to distance. The most distance-sensitive technology, i.e. with the highest agglomeration of coinventors, was almost three times as sensitive to distance as the least sensitive. Interestingly, "Information technology" was the least distance-sensitive technology, which would be in line with predictions of "the death of distance". Higher affinity was also registered for many technologies when more university researchers were employed in one of the regions. Hence, a technology division is appropriate for understanding the span of innovation networks over regions, and how these could develop in response to policy initiatives.
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