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Regional Technolgy Policy and Factors Shaping Local Innovation Networks in Small German Cities


  • Andrea Gebauer


  • Chang Woon Nam


  • Rüdiger Parsche



Local innovation networks have been considered to be particularly important to innovation and technological change and to the growth prospects of regions and cities in Germany. Accordingly, innovation is a process that results from various (economic and social) interactions of different institutions located in a given region. Consequently, when analysing the local (or regional) innovation system, one should not only investigate the (horizontal and vertical) relations among firms but also the contacts with universities and other research institutions. Furthermore, the role of government agencies and interest groups that provide financial support as well as commercial and technical information should also be taken into account in the context of the regional innovation system. However, the review of relevant theoretical and empirical investigations related to the German experience shows that such innovation and R&D cooperation networks appear to be less significant than expected. In particular those high-tech firms in small-sized German cities have a direct access to the international innovation network, which quite often has made a more crucial contribution to their business performances than the regional and national ones have done. In general various regional technology policy measures adopted in German states (provision of research infrastructure, establishment of technology centres, innovative SME support programmes, etc.) have been more successful in already economically better-off large cities but failed to establish a significant intra-technological cooperation among partners in the rather less-developed areas which lack sufficient know-how, a socio-cultural and institutional infrastructure and a certain degree of entrepreneurial tradition. Apat from offering a critical review of relevant theoretical and empirical research, this study introduces the present regional technology and R&D promotion policies in German states and examines the distinctive characteristics of the local innovation system, emphasising the experiences of two small cities, Landshut and Bochum.

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  • Andrea Gebauer & Chang Woon Nam & Rüdiger Parsche, 2003. "Regional Technolgy Policy and Factors Shaping Local Innovation Networks in Small German Cities," ERSA conference papers ersa03p166, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p166

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fritsch, M. & Lukas, R., 1998. "Innovation, Cooperation, and the Region," Papers 98/1, Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
    3. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Michael Fritsch, 2001. "Co-operation in Regional Innovation Systems," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 297-307.
    5. Pavitt, Keith & Robson, Michael & Townsend, Joe, 1987. "The Size Distribution of Innovating Firms in the UK: 1945-1983," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 297-316, March.
    6. Michael Reinhard & Heinz Schmalholz, 1995. "Technologietransfer in Deutschland - Stand und Reformbedarf," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 48(33), pages 16-24, October.
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