Comparing knowledge bases: on the geography and organization of knowledge sourcing in the regional innovation system of Scania, Sweden
2013 (English)In: European Urban and Regional Studies, ISSN 0969-7764, E-ISSN 1461-7145, Vol. 20, no 2, 170-187 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
This paper deals with knowledge flows and collaboration between firms in the regional innovation system of southern Sweden. The aim is to analyse how the functional and spatial organization of knowledge interdependencies among firms and other actors varies between different types of industries that draw on different types of knowledge bases. We use data from three case studies of firm clusters in the region: (1) the life science cluster represents an analytical (science-based) industry, (2) the food cluster includes mainly synthetic (engineering-based) industries, and (3) the moving media cluster is considered to be symbolic (artistic based). Knowledge sourcing and knowledge exchange in each of the cases are explored and compared using social network analysis in association with data gathered through interviews with firm representatives. Our findings reveal that knowledge exchange in geographical proximity is especially important for industries that rely on a symbolic or synthetic knowledge base, because the interpretation of the knowledge they deal with tends to differ between places. This is less the case for industries drawing on an analytical knowledge base, which rely more on scientific knowledge that is codified, abstract and universal and are therefore less sensitive to geographical distance. Thus, geographical clustering of firms in analytical industries builds on rationales other than the need for proximity for knowledge sourcing.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 20, no 2, 170-187 p.
Knowledge base; innovation network; regional innovation system; Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31362DOI: 10.1177/0969776411427326ISI: 000318362900002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84866318735OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31362DiVA: diva2:954820