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Location, knowledge sourcing and innovation – Evidence from the ICT sector in Austria

  • Markus Grillitsch


  • Christoph Höglinger
  • Franz Tödtling

The competitiveness of many of today’s industries largely depends on the ability to innovate. Innovation is nowadays regarded as a result of an open and interactive knowledge process, demanding from companies to generate, absorb and apply knowledge relying both on internal and external sources. Companies often maintain links to a large variety of knowledge sources and partner types on different geographic levels and they use different mechanisms for acquiring knowledge from these sources. In addition, the location of companies is thought to have an important impact on innovativeness through potential regional knowledge links and accessibility to interregional ones. The location of a company in a “thick” Regional Innovation System (RIS) should lead to a better performance as compared to a location in a “thin” RIS. Conceptually, the paper aims to develop a better understanding of the relationships and dynamics between internal knowledge and learning through external knowledge sourcing. The derived presumptions are tested by developing and applying a multivariate model that describes the impact of the above-mentioned factors on the innovativeness of firms. The importance of internal knowledge, the variety of knowledge sourcing on regional, national and international levels, the importance of cooperation as a transfer mechanism as well as the location of companies are identified as key determinants of innovativeness in knowledge-based sectors. The paper draws on data from the ICT sector in three regions in Austria. Overall, 110 personal interviews and questionnaires were collected from companies of this sector.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p676.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p676
Contact details of provider: Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
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  1. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
  2. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  3. Franz T�dtling & Patrick Lehner & Michaela Trippl, 2005. "Innovation in knowledge intensive industries: The nature and geography of knowledge links," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 1035-1058, September.
  4. Roberta Capello & Alessandra Faggian, 2005. "Collective Learning and Relational Capital in Local Innovation Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 75-87.
  5. Smith, Keith, 2002. "What is the 'Knowledge Economy'? Knowledge Intensity and Distributed Knowledge Bases," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 06, United Nations University - INTECH.
  6. Todtling, Franz & Trippl, Michaela, 2005. "One size fits all?: Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1203-1219, October.
  7. Michaela Trippl & Franz Tödtling & Lukas Lengauer, 2009. "Knowledge Sourcing Beyond Buzz and Pipelines: Evidence from the Vienna Software Sector," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(4), pages 443-462, October.
  8. Bjørn Asheim & Lars Coenen, 2006. "Contextualising Regional Innovation Systems in a Globalising Learning Economy: On Knowledge Bases and Institutional Frameworks," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 163-173, 01.
  9. Bj�rn Asheim & Lars Coenen & Jan Vang, 2007. "Face-to-face, buzz, and knowledge bases: sociospatial implications for learning, innovation, and innovation policy," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(5), pages 655-670, October.
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