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The roles of different intermediaries in innovation networks: A network-based approach

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  • Annalisa Caloffi
  • Federica Rossi
  • Margherita Russo

Abstract

Greater understanding of what factors promote the formation of innovation networks and their successful performance would help policymakers improve the design of policy interventions aimed at funding R&D projects to be carried out by networks of innovators. In this paper, we focus on the organizations that can play the role of intermediaries in the networks, facilitating the involvement of other participants and promoting communication and knowledge flows within the network. Based on an original empirical dataset, capturing the relationships between organizations involved in a set of publicly-funded programmes in support of innovation networks, we have tried to identify what are the main features of different types of intermediaries based on an analysis of their positions within networks of relationships. We have observed that agents that occupy broker positions – linking agents that are not connected to each other – are more likely to be found in technologically turbulent environments, while the agents that occupy intercohesive positions – bridging cohesive communities of network agents – operate in more stable contexts. Intermediaries in general are more likely to be local governments. However, besides this, it is not possible to clearly identify organizations that, by nature, are more likely to be either brokers or intercohesive agents: different innovation networks may require different organizations to mediate relationships between the other participants.

Suggested Citation

  • Annalisa Caloffi & Federica Rossi & Margherita Russo, 2014. "The roles of different intermediaries in innovation networks: A network-based approach," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0030, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:dembwp:0030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation policy; innovation networks; social network analysis; intermediaries; brokers; intercohesion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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