Meeting the Innovation Challenge
Edited by John Bessant and Tim Venables
Chapter 14: Exploring the Role of Geographic Proximity in Shaping University–Industry Interaction
Kate Bishop, Toke Reichstein and Ammon Salter INTRODUCTION This chapter explores the literature on the eﬀects of geographic proximity on university–industry interaction. Despite rapid advances in communication technology, numerous studies have demonstrated that geographic proximity continues to play an important role in shaping economic behaviour, especially the formation of university–industry linkages (e.g. Feldman 1994). Geographic proximity is central to university–industry interaction because it facilitates the exchange of personal knowledge through geographically bounded social networks (see Maskell and Malmberg 1999; Storper 2004; Asheim and Gertler 2005) and there are powerful reasons to suggest that it will continue to be inﬂuential in shaping relationships between universities and industrial ﬁrms in the future. However, the impact of geographic proximity on university–industry links is not always positive: university–industry linkages can be enhanced and constrained by physical proximity. The goal of this chapter is to review the existing empirical studies on university–industry links, focusing on the geographical dimension in these relationships. This will allow us to identify a number of gaps in the literature, leading to the development of a research agenda. MAPPING AND CHARACTERIZING UNIVERSITY–INDUSTRY INTERACTIONS There is a broad and active tradition of research on the antecedents to and consequences of university–industry interaction (Salter and Martin 2001; Pavitt 1991; Shane 2004; Cohen et al. 2002). This research tradition 320 Role of geographic proximity in shaping university–industry interaction 321 highlights the subtle, complex and multifaceted role of universities in the economic system. It...
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