Knowledge bases, innovation and multi-scalar relationships - Which kind of territorial boundedness of industrial clusters?

Franz Tödtling, Alexander Auer

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Innovation is nowadays a highly interdependent process where firms rely on distributed knowledge
sources at various spatial scales. It has been argued that innovation interactions are shifting
increasingly from local/regional towards global scales and that the region as a space for supporting
innovation and competitiveness of firms is losing in importance. We suggest, however, that firms and
clusters rely on various kinds of knowledge bases and factors for their development that differ in
their geographical mobility and territorial boundedness. Whereas codified knowledge as well as
many kinds of goods and services, investment capital, and people have become mobile at a global
scale due to improvements of transport- and communication technologies and a lowering of trade
barriers, we find other factors that are still territorially bound, such as tacit knowledge that is
exchanged in local and social networks, and certain kinds institutions and regulations that are
territorially confined. We investigate therefore for different types of industries to what extent and
which kind of driving factors for cluster development and innovation have become non-local or footlose,
or remain territorially bound to regions or countries. This also has relevance for regional and
innovation policies that try to enhance the competitiveness of clusters and regional economies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesSRE - Discussion Papers

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 507023 Location development
  • 502039 Structural policy
  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 507011 Spatial research
  • 507014 Regional development
  • 507
  • 507016 Regional economy

WU Working Paper Series

  • SRE - Discussion Papers

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