Innovation and e-commerce in clusters of small firms: The case of a regional e-marketplace
This paper draws on the literature on innovation in clusters and e-commerce to investigate how a particular kind of innovation project, the establishment of a regional e-marketplace (REM), may contribute to regional development. Using a firm-centred perspective, the role of geographical and cognitive proximity, absorptive capacity and other firm characteristics in the adoption and development of this particular type of innovation project is assessed. Hypotheses are tested with reference to the case of an REM recently established in the Italian area of Valtellina. The policy implications of the study are that REMs deserve support as an instrument of territorial development both in the establishment and in the implementation phase, more with “soft policies” than with “hard policies”.
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