Regional Innovation Systems and Knowledge Sourcing Activities in Traditional Industries – Evidence from the Vienna Food Sector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this paper is to investigate the spatial pattern of knowledge links in traditional, long-established, and less-research-intensive sectors and to contribute to a better understanding of the role of the regional innovation system (RIS) as space for knowledge-sourcing activities in such industries. Departing from conceptual work on the science, technology, and innovation (STI) and the doing, using, and interacting (DUI) modes of learning, it is argued that the relation between mature industries and their RIS depends on the relative importance of these two innovation modes and their specific geographies of knowledge-sourcing activities. The empirical focus is on the food industry in the Vienna metropolitan region. Based on ten case studies of firms and ten interviews with research organisations and industry experts, it is suggested that innovation rests on a combination of the DUI and the STI modes of learning. This is related with a complex spatial pattern of knowledge links and a selective integration of innovative food companies into the RIS. The firms investigated use scientific knowledge available within the RIS and tap into extraregional pools of experience-based knowledge.


  • Michaela Trippl
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Geography
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1616
JournalEnvironment & Planning A
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch