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Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation

Crescenzi, R; Nathan, M; Rodriguez-Pose, A; (2016) Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation. Research Policy , 45 (1) pp. 177-194. 10.1016/j.respol.2015.07.003. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the characteristics of the collaborations between inventors in the United Kingdom (UK) by looking at what types of proximities – geographic, organisational, cognitive, social, and cultural–ethnic – between inventors are prevalent in partnerships that ultimately lead to technological progress. Using a new panel of UK inventors this paper provides an analysis of associations between these ‘proximities’ and co-patenting. The results show that while collaboration within firms, research centres and universities remains crucial, external networks of inventors are key feature of innovation teams. The analysis shows that external networks are highly dependent on previous social connections, but are generally unconstrained by cultural or cognitive factors. Geographical proximity is also weakly linked with external networks. Our results suggest that innovation policies should, rather than focus on spatial clustering, facilitate the formation of open and diverse networks of inventors.

Type: Article
Title: Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.07.003
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2015.07.003
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Innovation, Patents, Proximities, Regions, Knowledge spillovers, Collaboration, Ethnicity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086279
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