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CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University

No 2013/18:
Substitution or overlap? The relations between geographical and non-spatial proximity dimensions in collaborative innovation projects

Teis Hansen ()

Abstract: Traditionally, economic geographers stress geographical proximity’s positive impact on collaboration processes. Recently, effects of cognitive, organisational, social and institutional proximity dimensions have been emphasised. This paper examines the relations between geography and these non-spatial dimensions by distinguishing two mechanisms: the substitution mechanism, where non-spatial forms of proximity substitute for geographical proximity, and the overlap mechanism, where geographical proximity facilitates non-spatial proximity. The two mechanisms’ importance is analysed in collaborative innovation projects in the Danish cleantech industry. Regression models are complemented by a qualitative analysis of the relationship between the geographical and institutional dimensions, which is the only relation where the substitution mechanism is of little importance.

Keywords: Proximity; cleantech; collaboration; knowledge linkages; innovation; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: L69; O31; R11; (follow links to similar papers)

29 pages, May 10, 2013

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