Innovation, Learning and Clusters
Edited by Knut Ingar Westeren
5. Star scientists and regional knowledge transfer Introduction Michaela Trippl and Gunther Maier In recent years, there has been a growing recognition that highly skilled researchers and scientists are a key driving force for regional knowledgebased development, growth and technological change (see, for instance, Horowitz, 1966; Thorn and Holm-Nielsen, 2008; Trippl and Maier, 2011a). The knowledge generated and accumulated by these individuals and the expertise they possess are seen to constitute essential inputs for industrial innovation processes, particularly for those in science-based industries (Pavitt, 1984). In the meantime the increasing significance of knowledge linkages between universities and the economy and the involvement of scientists in commercialization processes of scientific findings is well documented and vigorously discussed in the academic literature (Mowery and Sampat, 2005; Gunasekara, 2006; Bergman, 2010). However, so far only a few scholars have focused on world-class researchers and investigated the nature and extent of their knowledge sharing activities (Zucker et al., 1998a, 1998b, 2002; Furukawa and Goto, 2006; Baba et al., 2009; Schiller and Revilla Diez, 2010). While their studies have provided interesting insights into the role of elite scientists in promoting regional innovation and high-tech development, little is still known about the relative importance of different types of intraregional knowledge transfer mechanisms which are crucial in this regard. Moreover, there is a limited understanding of those factors which have an influence on whether elite scientists employ various kinds of knowledge transmission. The key aim of this chapter is to enhance our understanding about these core issues...
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