Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 305: Knowledge & Innovation in Space

Charlie Karlsson (), Börje Johansson () and Roger R. Stough ()
Additional contact information
Charlie Karlsson: Jönköping International Business School, Postal: Jönköping University, , P.O. Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping, , Sweden
Börje Johansson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Roger R. Stough: George Mason University, Postal: 4400 University Drive, MS 6D5 , Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Abstract: The purpose of this working paper is to provide a short overview of actual topics in contemporary research concerned with global, national, regional and local knowledge and innovation dynamics. In the text, we stress the importance to understand the current changes of the global and their implications for knowledge generation and innovation. Treating knowledge as a key resource for innovation shifts the focus from the innovation itself to the process of knowledge generation, transformation and diffusion, i.e. to knowledge dynamics. This necessitates integrating spatial aspects since knowledge generation and as a result, innovation exhibits a strong geographical clustering, which implies that innovation ability and innovation resources also are strongly clustered geographically in particular to urban regions. The role of interaction and proximity for knowledge generation and innovation is highlighted and instead it is stressed that relational, cognitive, organizational, social and institutional proximities are not substitutes or complements to spatial proximity but that they are all functions of the prevailing spatial proximity. Another important factor for interaction is social capital, which by fostering trust makes information and knowledge to diffuse faster.

Keywords: Knowledge; innovation; proximity; knowledge economy; knowledge dynamics; knowledge networks; innovation ability; innovation resources; globalization; agglomeration; face-to-face interaction; urban regions; social capital

JEL-codes: O31; O32; O33; R12

17 pages, April 12, 2013

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