How Can Research Networks Improve The Innovation Process?
Accumulation of human capital is essential for economic growth. An important question is how knowledge spillover into innovations and production. One way of knowledge diffusion is within innovation networks. We investigate innovative networks in patent data in Sweden from 1994-2001. We define research networks with the help of direct and indirect ties among inventors. The main result clearly indicates that those researchers that collaborating, in innovation networks, improves the efficiency of the innovation process by getting more patents applications approved. The odds getting a patent application approved are in the range 1.1 to 1.5 times better if an application is a result from research collaboration. Moreover, the result suggests that collaboration is more important in the IT sector than in the mechanical engineering sector. Finally, the empirical outcomes indicate that networking is more important in less dense areas compared to the denser labor markets. Thus, networks in such areas might be a substitute for agglomeration advantages.
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