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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 2013/23:
Combining knowledge from different sources, channels and geographical scales

Markus Grillitsch () and Michaela Trippl ()

Abstract: The aim of this article is to examine conceptually and empirically how innovative firms combine knowledge (1) provided by different sources, (2) accessed at different spatial scales, and (3) acquired through different channels. We add to the conceptual debate by contrasting and synthesizing the perspectives offered on these issues by four key concepts, namely the local buzz and global pipelines argument, the knowledge base approach, the notions of STI and DUI modes of innovation as well as the regional innovation systems concept. The empirical part of the article contains an analysis of knowledge sourcing activities and knowledge combinations employed by 181 firms belonging to the Austrian automotive supplier industry. Our findings reveal that it is, indeed, combinations of knowledge sourced from different partners located at different spatial scales and acquired through different channels that are relevant. However, it is particular knowledge combinations that dominate while others are negligible. Austrian automotive supplier firms combine knowledge provided by customers with knowledge inputs from a variety of other sources. Most of the combinations involve the international level combined with the regional and/or national level. Finally, firms combine spillovers with a variety of other channels to acquire innovation-relevant knowledge.

Keywords: Innovation; Knowledge Bases; Regional Innovation System; Geography; Automotive; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D83; O30; R10; (follow links to similar papers)

29 pages, September 17, 2013

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