Knowledge collaboration and proximity - The spatial organization of biotech innovation projects

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Knowledge collaboration and proximity - The spatial organization of biotech innovation projects. / Moodysson, Jerker; Jonsson, Ola.

In: European Urban and Regional Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2007, p. 115-131.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Knowledge collaboration and proximity - The spatial organization of biotech innovation projects

AU - Moodysson, Jerker

AU - Jonsson, Ola

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - This article addresses the role of proximity for knowledge collaboration between dedicated biotechnology firms (DBFs) and related actors. Innovation projects managed by a selection of eight Swedish DBFs are analysed in detail and classified with regard to their specific knowledge characteristics. Based on this classification, explanations to the relative importance of functional and relational proximity to collaborators are sought. The findings indicate that knowledge collaboration in projects characterized by embodied knowledge are more sensitive to functional proximity than projects characterized by embrained and encoded knowledge. The findings also indicate that even though functional proximity is facilitative, global knowledge collaboration is indispensable for most DBFs. The convenience of local collaboration can never replace the extreme requirements of specialized knowledge, which forces them to seek collaborators on a global arena despite the impediments they face in these situations. Policy resources aimed at promoting bioregions are therefore better used to enhance local resources and to provide conditions for DBFs to link up with global sources of knowledge rather than to boost the formation of 'second best' local networks.

AB - This article addresses the role of proximity for knowledge collaboration between dedicated biotechnology firms (DBFs) and related actors. Innovation projects managed by a selection of eight Swedish DBFs are analysed in detail and classified with regard to their specific knowledge characteristics. Based on this classification, explanations to the relative importance of functional and relational proximity to collaborators are sought. The findings indicate that knowledge collaboration in projects characterized by embodied knowledge are more sensitive to functional proximity than projects characterized by embrained and encoded knowledge. The findings also indicate that even though functional proximity is facilitative, global knowledge collaboration is indispensable for most DBFs. The convenience of local collaboration can never replace the extreme requirements of specialized knowledge, which forces them to seek collaborators on a global arena despite the impediments they face in these situations. Policy resources aimed at promoting bioregions are therefore better used to enhance local resources and to provide conditions for DBFs to link up with global sources of knowledge rather than to boost the formation of 'second best' local networks.

KW - projects

KW - innovation

KW - knowledge

KW - biotechnology

KW - proximity

U2 - 10.1177/0969776407075556

DO - 10.1177/0969776407075556

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 115

EP - 131

JO - European Urban and Regional Studies

JF - European Urban and Regional Studies

SN - 0969-7764

IS - 2

ER -