ANET Lab Seminar Series: Tom Brökel

Tom Brökel (UiS Business School): The spatial diffusion of simple and complex technologies

Abstract | Recent studies show that regions generating and capitalizing complex technologies possess a competitive advantage and thus, prosper economically. Far less is known about the spatial diffusion of complex technologies. What are the drivers of complex technology diffusion? In particular, do these drivers differ in comparison to simple technologies? To answer these questions, the study makes use of four million US patents and analyzes 100 years of diffusion of 285 technologies. More precisely, for each technology, a Spatial Bayesian Survival Model is fitted, which results are evaluated against technologies’ degree of complexity. Our findings confirm that simple and complex technologies diffuse with different spatial patterns. More precisely, complex technologies tend to diffuse contagiously. Additionally, we find out that a diverse set of related technologies in a region enhance the adoption of complex technologies to a larger degree than for simple ones. The results also underline the importance of cities in the diffusion process of complex technologies.

Bio | Tom Brökel is a Professor in Regional Innovation at the University of Stavanger Business School, Norway. He is also associated to the Center of Regional and Innovation Economics of the University of Bremen, Germany. Tom’s research is focused on geography of innovation, knowledge networks, analysis of R&D policy, methods of social network analysis, regional innovation systems, and renewable energies, tourism. Tom’s teaching encompasses courses on Innovation Studies, Economic Geography, Advanced Statistics, Social Network Analysis, and the Geography of Innovation.