Knowledge Sourcing and Innovation in "thick" and "thin" regional innovation systems: Comparing ICT firms in two Austrian regions.

Franz Tödtling, Lukas Lengauer, Christoph Höglinger

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


In knowledge based sectors such as ICT innovation is seen to be as a key factor for the competitiveness of firms. Nowadays, the innovation process is regarded to be highly interactive, so companies tend to rely on both internal and external knowledge. There are arguments that the character of knowledge and innovation links depends to a large extent on the density and the institutional setting of the respective regional innovation system RIS. We investigate, therefore, whether firms in a metropolitan and non-metropolitan RIS exhibit different ways and patterns to source knowledge relevant for innovation. We expect that ICT companies in a metropolitan RIS such as Vienna rely to a much higher extent on local knowledge sources in particular from universities and research organisations. For firms in a non-metropolitan RIS such as Salzburg we expect a higher reliance on distant knowledge links with a variety of partners. At the beginning we provide a conceptual frame, by introducing the concept of knowledge bases and a typology of knowledge links applying these to the innovation process in the ICT sector. Then we present some empirical evidence for ICT companies in the regions of Vienna, representing a metropolitan RIS with a high density of knowledge organisations and firms, and Salzburg standing for a non-metropolitan RIS with a lower size and density of such organisations. We analyse the types of knowledge sources, the channels of knowledge exchange and the spatial level of these interaction. In the final section we will draw some policy conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245 - 1276
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011

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