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15 Innovation networks: formation, performance and dynamics Uwe Cantner and Holger Graf 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter refers to work that is concerned with the formation of innovation networks on the one hand and their dynamics and evolution on the other hand. Although the literature on network dynamics is quite rich, considerations of the evolution of innovation networks are still in their beginning. This has to do with the specific concern of innovation networks with information and knowledge exchange among the network participants. The purpose of an innovation network is to exchange knowledge and expertise among cooperating partners. For an understanding of how this works one has to discuss the very nature of knowledge, the incentives of actors to engage in deliberate knowledge exchange, and the dynamic properties of those systems (knowledge dynamics, actor dynamics, and so on) over time. Networks of innovation are strongly related to the notion of collective invention which has been introduced by Allen (1983). In the historical study of the nineteenth century iron and steel industry he shows that innovative success was the result of the cooperative activities of several different actors. Anecdotal evidence found in Allen’s work, in the various studies on Silicon Valley (for example, Saxenian, 1994) or in other success stories of regional innovation (Cooke and Morgan, 1994; Braczyk et al., 1998; Keeble et al., 1999) was enriched by studies on the regional dimension of knowledge flows (Jaffe et al., 1993). Insights into the process of innovation at the firm-level (Kline and Rosenberg,...
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