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Scientific and technological density of regions : the impact on firms" competence to innovate


  • Jean - Alain Héraud


  • Francis Munier


  • Patrick Rondé



The purpose of the paper is to present possible approaches of the innovative potential of the regions, with an empirical application concerning the relation between characteristics of regions (scientific and technological density) and the firm’s competencies. Regions, which are territories with specific institutional and techno-economic characteristics, will be considered here as significant contexts for innovation processes. By using the word “context”, we want to underline the importance of regional characteristics, even in a globalised economy, but we are reluctant to speak of regional “system” without carefully analysing the possible meaning of such a notion. RIS is a useful concept if it one stresses its cognitive content - a way of interacting that leads to specific competence to innovate - but can be misleading if understood as an ex ante given network of actors and infrastructures. An important characterisation of territorial specificity in evolutionary terms is the cognitive potential of actors. For instance, firms" capabilities vary to a large extent following the type of innovation under consideration : outcome of science-based R&D, particular competitiveness in marketing innovative products, incremental improvements through learning by using (N. Rosenberg) or other sort of learning by interacting (B-A. Lundvall). To give an empirical example, we will use the results of a survey of the French industry focusing on the innovative competence of the firms. We have developed an econometric model for testing the influence of the regional scientific and technological context on the nature of the “competence to innovate” declared by the firms in the inquiry. This study is an opportunity to cast light on the concept of critical interfaces evoked by K. Pavitt (1998), by underlining several schemes of industrial development according to specific characteristics of industries and regions. Designing differentiated regional policies on the basis of such an analysis seems to be possible.

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  • Jean - Alain Héraud & Francis Munier & Patrick Rondé, 2001. "Scientific and technological density of regions : the impact on firms" competence to innovate," ERSA conference papers ersa01p208, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa01p208

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    3. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
    4. Carrincazeaux, Christophe & Lung, Yannick & Rallet, Alain, 2001. "Proximity and localisation of corporate R&D activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 777-789, May.
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