Do Different Types of Innovation Rely on Specific Kinds of Knowledge Interactions?
It is commonly accepted nowadays that innovations are brought forward in an interactive process of knowledge generation and application. The business sector, the science sector, and policy actors are involved in this process as has been stressed in concepts such as innovation systems and the network approach. It is still unclear, however, as to what extent different kinds of innovation rely on specific knowledge sources and links. More advanced innovations on the one hand might draw more on scientific knowledge, generated in universities and research organizations. Such knowledge is often exchanged in personal interactions at a local or regional level. Incremental innovations and the adoption of new technologies, on the other hand, seem to occur often in interaction with partners from the business sector also at higher spatial levels. In this paper we analyze such patterns of knowledge links. After dealing with knowledge interactions from a conceptual view and reviewing the relevant literature, we present an empirical analysis for Austria. The findings show that firms introducing more advanced innovations are relying to a higher extent on R&D and patents, and that they are cooperating more often with universities and research organizations. Firms having introduced less advanced innovations rely more on knowledge links with business services. Furthermore, the employment of researchers was identified as a key factor enhancing knowledge interactions of firms with universities. (authors' abstract)
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