The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 31: Trade fairs and innovation

Harald Bathelt


This chapter presents evidence that trade fairs play a substantive role in industrial innovation and knowledge generation processes. First, based on interviews conducted at trade fairs, it is illustrated that most exhibitors systematically use these events to present innovations to visitors and acquire information about new products and technologies. Second, findings from an industry survey confirm that trade fairs are consistently ranked among the important information sources for product and process innovation. While not the only or most important influences, these events provide a unique and crucial platform to present innovations, to acquire information about changes in user needs, to collect information about changes in the market, technology and policy environment, to gather information about competitor innovations, and to search for and find problem solutions.

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