Knowledge relations and innovation from a regional perspective

Franz Tödtling, Christoph Höglinger, Markus Grillitsch

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


Innovation is of key importance for the competitiveness of firms in the knowledge economy and is widely regarded as an open and interactive process nowadays. However, the potential for sourcing knowledge and for interacting with external partners seems to depend on the characteristics of the regional innovation system (RIS) among other factors. Focussing on the ICT sector in three different regions of Austria, we investigate, therefore, whether firms in metropolitan, less urbanised or industrial RIS exhibit different patterns of innovation and knowledge sourcing. We expect that companies in a metropolitan "thick" RIS rely to a higher extent on local knowledge sources in particular from universities and research institutes and use more interactive transfer mechanisms than firms located in a less urbanised "thin" RIS. In industrial RIS, firms often exhibit a less diverse regional knowledge sourcing pattern than those in a metropolitan RIS, i.e. leading to more incremental innovations. The paper builds on the concepts of knowledge bases and knowledge links, as well as on types of regional innovation systems. Empirical evidence is assessed in this respect for ICT firms from metropolitan Vienna representing a "thick" RIS, from less urbanised Salzburg standing for a "thin" RIS and industrial Upper Austria being an example of a networked RIS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNetworks, Space and Competitiveness - Evolving Challenges for Sustainable Growth
Editors Capello, Roberta and Denthino, Tomaz Ponze
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages107 - 134
ISBN (Print)978 1 78100 366 4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 507016 Regional economy
  • 509
  • 502047 Economic theory

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