Knowledge, Innovation and Space
Show Less

Knowledge, Innovation and Space

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson, Kiyoshi Kobayashi and Roger R. Stough

The contributions in this volume extend our understanding about the different ways distance impacts the knowledge conversion process. Knowledge itself is a raw input into the innovation process which can then transform it into an economically useful output such as prototypes, patents, licences and new companies. New knowledge is often tacit and thus tends to be highly localized, as indeed is the conversion process. Consequently, as the book demonstrates, space or distance matter significantly in the transformation of raw knowledge into beneficial knowledge.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 4: Imports and regional development

Martin Andersson, Lina Bjerke and Charlie Karlsson


In a recent paper, Andersson and Johansson (2008) investigate how certain regional characteristics influence the generation of export innovations. In the empirical part of the paper, the frequency of such innovations is matched against characteristics of regions that reflect (i) their information about export varieties and export markets, (ii) their physical communication opportunities, and (iii) the absorptive capacity of the firms in each region, with significant results for all explanatory variables except one. However, what is missing in this formulation is the critical influence of imports as a source of export innovations. The generation of export innovations implies that two categories of information are combined. One category refers to different customers’ or customer groups’ specific demands concerning product characteristics and their willingness to pay for different combinations of product characteristics. The other refers to existing technical solutions, which can be used for developing products with the demanded combinations of product characteristics. It is the job of the R & D activities to combine these two sources of information. From a regional perspective, it is important to understand that the size of the R & D investments and the frequency of innovations in each functional (urban) region is always a very small fraction of the total volume of R & D activities in the global economy.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.