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Benefiting from learning networks in 'open innovation': spin-off firms in constrasting city regions

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>European Planning Studies
Issue number5
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)666-682
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/10/12
<mark>Original language</mark>English


R&D and innovation increasingly take place in networks that extend beyond the boundaries of a single firm, with customers in an important role in the learning processes involved. This phenomenon is captured by the term “open innovation”. Advantages of open innovation encompass cost reduction and an increased competitiveness. Spatial innovation theory however indicates that the potential of open innovation is not the same for all urban regions, there may be differences between large metropolitan areas and small cities. In this context, the authors compare university spin-off firms in two contrasting urban regions in Europe, Delft in the Netherlands and Trondheim in Norway (a metropolitan area versus an isolated city) with regard to the profile of their learning networks and the contribution of these networks to growth. Learning networks appear to differ in structure and strength, in spatial configuration and also in the influence on job growth. Thus, networks in Delft (in a large metropolitan area) tend to be stronger compared to those in Trondheim (isolated city), whereas the influence of network strength on growth tends to be negative in Delft but positive in Trondheim. Overall, firms in Trondheim tend to rely more on own resources and capabilities and less on learning networks in open innovation.