Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation
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Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation

Edited by Richard Shearmu, Christophe Carrincazeaux and David Doloreux

The geography of innovation is changing. First, it is increasingly understood that innovative firms and organizations exhibit a wide variety of strategies, each being differently attuned to diverse geographic contexts. Second, and concomitantly, the idea that cities, clusters and physical proximity are essential for innovation is evolving under the weight of new theorizing and empirical evidence. In this Handbook we gather 28 chapters by scholars with widely differing views on what constitutes the geography of innovation. The aim of the Handbook is to break with the many ideas and concepts that emerged during the course of the 1980s and 1990s, and to fully take into account the new reality of the internet, mobile communication technologies, personal mobility and globalization. This does not entail the rejection of well-established and supported ideas, but instead allows for a series of new ideas and authors to enter the arena and provoke debate.
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Chapter 7: How do firms acquire knowledge in different sectoral and regional contexts?

Franz Tödtling and Michaela Trippl

Abstract

The chapter provides a review and discussion of recent conceptual and empirical contributions on the nature and geography of firms’ knowledge acquisition activities. The authors offer a systematic conceptual view of the pattern of knowledge sourcing, bringing into focus and combining the notions of industrial knowledge bases (sectoral contexts), which are supposed to vary considerably with respect to the transferability of their key knowledge types, and regional innovation systems (regional contexts), which are supposed to differ substantially in terms of the availability of knowledge sources. The empirical part of the chapter draws on cases from Austria, Finland, Germany and Sweden and provides an analysis and comparison of knowledge-sourcing activities in analytical, synthetic and symbolic industrial sectors in metropolitan, specialized industrial and peripheral regional contexts.

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