Projects

Innovative Collaboration

Collaboration in technological innovation is mostly local due to spatial constraints but working with distant partners usually pays off. We study the spatial dynamics of scientific and innovation-related collaboration to inform policy about opportunities and threats of innovative projects.

Related Publications

Inventor collaborations that span across regions facilitate the combination and diffusion of innovation-related knowledge. While remote partnerships are gaining importance; most R&D cooperations remain embedded in local environments and little is known about how spatial patterns of creation and persistence of ties in large-scale co-inventor networks differ. We use the publicly available OECD REGPAT database to construct a co-inventor network of the EU27 and continental EFTA countries from patents filed between 2006 and 2010, and identify those ties that had been persisted from before 2006. A community detection exercise reveals that persisted collaborations cluster at a smaller geographical scale than what is observed in the full network. We find that in general the estimated probability of persisted collaboration does not differ from the complete collaboration network when geographical distance, technological similarity or the number of common third partners across regions are assumed to influence tie probability separately. However, persistent collaboration gains exceptional likelihood if regions are proximate in all three dimensions. Our results therefore offer evidence that repeated inventor collaboration drives regional innovation systems towards isolation, which is a threat for European innovation policy.

How did post-socialist transition and a parallel shift in international labor division restructure regional innovation systems in Central and Eastern Europe? This question is increasingly important, because current EU innovation policy is combined with regional development in Smart Specialization Strategies; however, spatial trends of innovation in Central and Eastern Europe are not fully understood which might lead to less than perfectly efficient policy. In this paper we describe the spatial dynamics of inventor activity in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia between 1981 and 2010 –a period that covers both the late socialist era and the post-socialist transition. Cleaning and analyzing the publicly available data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office we illustrate that Central and Eastern European patents made in international co-operations with partners outside the region receive more citations than those Central and Eastern European patents that lack international co-operation. Furthermore, the technological portfolio of the former patents has become increasingly independent from the technological portfolio of the latter class. A town-level analysis of the applicant-inventor ties reveals that inventors have started to work for foreign assignees in those towns where no innovation activity had been recorded before. However, the positive effect does not last long and patenting seems to be only periodic in the majority of these towns. Therefore, innovation policy in Central and Eastern European countries, as well as in other less developed regions, shall foster synergies between international and domestic collaborations in order to decrease regional disparities in patenting.

International scientific collaboration, a fundamental phenomenon of science, has been studied from several perspectives for decades. In the spatial aspect of science, cities have generally been considered by their publication output or by their citation impact. Only a minority of scientometric studies focus on exploring collaboration patterns of cities. In this visualisation, we go beyond the well-known approaches and map international scientific collaboration patterns of the most prominent science hubs considering both the quantity and the impact of papers produced in the collaboration. The analysis involves 245 cities and the collaboration matrix contains a total number of 7718 international collaboration links. Results show that US–Europe co-publication links are more efficient in terms of producing highly cited papers than those international links that Asian cities have built in scientific collaboration.