Chapter 3: The geography of research collaboration: theoretical considerations and stylized facts in biotechnology in Europe and the United States
1 Koen Frenken and Frank G. van Oort 1. INTRODUCTION Whereas the geography of innovation has established itself as a central subject in economic geography (Feldman, 1999), geography is still a largely neglected subject in science studies including scientometrics. In particular, as collaboration in scientiﬁc knowledge production has become a central (policy) issue, it is surprising that few researchers have tried to understand the geography of research collaborations. Little is known about the role of proximity in scientiﬁc collaboration and how this affects the probability and nature of networking among research institutions. In this chapter we set out a number of theoretical considerations about the role of geography in science in general and in research collaboration in particular. To this end, we approach the subject by ﬁrst discussing theoretical concepts advanced in the ﬁeld of the geography of innovation, as this ﬁeld of inquiry has recently produced a number of valuable theoretical insights in the relationships between geography, knowledge production and innovation. We then ask the question regarding to what extent these insights are helpful in theorizing the geography of research collaboration in science (and conclude that they are so only to a limited extent). Next, we discuss a number of stylized facts about research collaboration in Europe and the United States in the ﬁeld of biotechnology, based on comparative empirical research on both continents. Special emphasis will be given to the geography of ‘hybrid’ collaborations between universities with institutions outside academia, which appear to be geographically more...
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