Markets, Clusters and Innovation
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Chapter 8: Austrian Catch-up in Knowledge-based Sectors: Research Exploitation, Spatial Clustering and Knowledge Links
8. Austrian catch-up in knowledgebased sectors: research exploitation, spatial clustering and knowledge links Austria has a highly competitive economy, but it is internationally not known as a location for high-technology activities. Its strength has traditionally been in medium-technology sectors such as speciality steel and materials, vehicles and engineering as well as in services, particularly in tourism. Under a coordinated market model of social partnership the country was able to achieve high productivity gains and growth rates. More recently, however, the Austrian economy has shifted more towards a knowledge economy, with increasing shares of sectors such as hightechnology industries and knowledge-based services, including ICT and biotechnology. In the current chapter we analyse Austria’s position as a latecomer in the knowledge economy and we ask to what extent we can observe a catching-up process in these industries (next section). In the second section and in greater detail we investigate the locational pattern of these knowledge-based sectors and any tendencies of spatial clustering. The third section then looks at innovation activities and analyses in particular the nature of knowledge interactions of ﬁrms in those sectors. We look at the most important innovation partners such as ﬁrms, universities and research organizations as well as at the types of relationship (market, network, spillover and milieu). The ﬁnal section is devoted to the development, spatial clustering and knowledge links of the Austrian biotechnology industry. It is shown that there has been a dynamic development of this industry since the mid-1990s, partly related to the Austrian science...
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