Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University
Josephine V. Rekers
The European Spallation Source (ESS)and the geography of innovation
Abstract: The design and construction of ESS is portrayed as an
enormous injection of scientific infrastructure in the (innovation-based)
economy of Lund, Skåne and the Øresund region. Innovation processes are
however, inherently uncertain, unanticipated and non-linear, where
investments do not directly and predictably lead to successful outputs.
This chapter presents the theoretical underpinnings of localized knowledge
spillovers, and demonstrates that the prospected local benefits associated
with ESS are tied to the degree of embeddedness of the facility in regional
knowledge networks that facilitate localized learning. This future scenario
is challenged by the level of absorptive capacity of university and
industry partners in the region, the presence of institutions that support
an innovative milieu, and the multiplicity of ambitions set for ESS by the
local, multi-national and global bodies. If actors in the regional economy
are to take advantage of the opportunity that is associated with the
technical design and construction of ESS in Lund, organizational and
institutional features of an innovation milieu need to be prioritized.
Keywords: Large research facilities; big science; agglomeration economies; knowledge spillovers; European Spallation Source (ESS); (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: O31; R11; (follow links to similar papers)
14 pages, October 2, 2012
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