Technology Incubators as Nodes in Knowledge Networks
It is widely accepted that new knowledge underpinned innovation and growth influences economic activities. Economic agents rely not only on their own knowledge but also knowledge from others, whether it be codified and ’transferred via ICT’ or in tacit form. Moreover, it has long been argued that the acquisition of latter type of knowledge is influenced by geographic proximity. Based on this argument, it follows that the part firms’ supply of knowledge depends on how close, in terms of physical distance, to other firms, suppliers, customers, and research institutions, they are located. They are all can be categorize as a pool of knowledge that important for the firms’ growth and innovation capacity. Today, we witness many initiatives from policy makers around the world to compete in an increasingly technology- driven global economy through the establishing of technology incubators. Technology incubators can be conceived as organizations and/or facilities to enhance high-technology firm establishment and survival. Mostly they are located near the university or research center. There are many success stories on the contribution of incubators to the regional growth. At the same time, technology incubators have been widely criticized in the academic literature when judged in terms of regional innovation and knowledge development. The critics include the relying on an outdated, linear, model of innovation, which assumes that knowledge can be transferred directly from university to firms. However, innovation is now widely recognized as a complex non-linear process involving feedback loops and the creation of synergies through a diverse range of knowledge networks. Therefore, our understanding about knowledge spillover processes connected with incubator is yet poor. Very little is known about the mechanisms of knowledge exchange and spillover initiated by incubator and their role in supporting the growth of the firm. In this study we draw on the current body of literature, mainly agglomeration theories, and use the concepts of tacit knowledge and context to understand how knowledge spillovers actually take place. Our objective is to build a conceptual framework that describes how technology incubators operate as a mediator of knowledge for their tenants. In addition, based on empirical data of high-technology start-ups at TU Delft (The Netherlands), this study tests the proposition that not only geographic proximity to the university, but also that relations with other firms, particularly customers and suppliers matters. We also consider the function of ICT in shaping the new role of technology incubators in providing knowledge support. By explicitly analyzing the knowledge spillovers and mediation role offered by technology incubators, we seek to open up the ‘black box’ of the incubation process as a source of learning and gaining knowledge resources. We conclude the paper with a few recommendations for policymaking and further research.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Glaeser, Edward L. & Scheinkman, JoseA. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1995.
"Economic growth in a cross-section of cities,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 117-143, August.
- Glaeser, E.L. & Scheinkman, J.A., 1993. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1645, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1995. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," NBER Working Papers 5013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2004. "Meta-analysis of the effect of fiscal policies on long-run growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 91-124, March.
- Richard Florida, 2002. "Bohemia and economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 55-71, January.
- Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
- Ed Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," NBER Working Papers 7790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1901, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Céline Druilhe & Elizabeth Garnsey, 2004. "Do Academic Spin-Outs Differ and Does it Matter?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(3_4), pages 269-285, 08.
- Sean M. Hackett & David M. Dilts, 2004. "A Systematic Review of Business Incubation Research," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 55-82, 01.
- Meric S. Gertler, 2003. "Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or The undefinable tacitness of being (there)," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 75-99, January.
- Birgitte Gregersen & Bjorn Johnson, 1997. "Learning Economies, Innovation Systems and European Integration," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(5), pages 479-490.
- Cooke, Philip & Gomez Uranga, Mikel & Etxebarria, Goio, 1997. "Regional innovation systems: Institutional and organisational dimensions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 475-491, December.
- repec:hoo:wpaper:e-95-4 is not listed on IDEAS
- Frank Moulaert & Farid Sekia, 2003. "Territorial Innovation Models: A Critical Survey," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 289-302.
- Nijkamp, Peter & Rodenburg, Caroline A. & Wagtendonk, Alfred J., 2002. "Success factors for sustainable urban brownfield development: A comparative case study approach to polluted sites," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 235-252, February.
- Paul D Hannon & Paul Chaplin, 2003. "Are incubators good for business? Understanding incubation practice -- the challenges for policy," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 21(6), pages 861-881, December.
- Henry Etzkowitz, 2002. "Incubation of incubators: innovation as a triple helix of university-industry-government networks," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 115-128, April.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p621. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.