Innovation and knowledge sourcing in the Vienna ICT manufacturing sector

Lukas Lengauer, Eva Nussmüller, Michaela Trippl, Franz Tödtling

Publikation: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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The aim of this paper is to investigate the nature and geography of innovation and knowledge sourcing activities in the ICT manufacturing sector in the region of Vienna. Vienna is often regarded as a prime example of a fragmented metropolitan regional innovation system. Fragmented regional innovation systems are characterised by a strong endowment with knowledge infrastructure elements and other innovation relevant institutions, but they suffer from a lack of local networking and knowledge circulation. In this paper we examine for Vienna whether this key deficiency of the regional innovation system, i.e. fragmentation, is also a crucial feature of knowledge based sectors such as the ICT manufacturing industry which exhibit an analytical knowledge base. Drawing on 18 face-to- face interviews with firms and an analysis of 207 knowledge links and 264 knowledge transfer channels we will show that local collective learning processes are vital for innovative companies in the Vienna ICT manufacturing sector, whilst at the same time they rely heavily on international knowledge sources. The significance of the local level as interaction space for knowledge exchange found in the ICT manufacturing sector indicates that at least for this knowledge based industry, Vienna's innovation system is of a less fragmented nature than previous studies have suggested. Knowledge based sectors are characterised by a high level of localised knowledge circulation which underpins radical innovation. (authors' abstract)


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