Dieter F. Kogler and Adam Whittle
This chapter synthesizes the literatures of evolutionary economic geography and the geography of innovation to demonstrate the path dependent and evolutionary logic inherent to knowledge creation and diffusion processes. Critically, this synthesis reaffirms the continued importance of geography as a palpable medium to organize economic activity. Making explicit use of the ‘knowledge space’ methodology this chapter examines the technological evolution of Ireland (1981–2010) and provides new insights on how regional knowledge trajectories are shaped by path-dependent, recombinant, and co-evolutionary network dynamics. For Ireland, we show that its technological development can be understood as a branching phenomenon, whereby new technological trajectories branched out from previously existing or related pieces of knowledge. The chapter concludes by theorizing how the knowledge space framework has an important bearing on the recently proposed Smart Specialization thesis, which is envisioned to underpin knowledge-based regional economic development throughout Europe for the coming decade.