The geography of R&D collaboration networks

Research output: Chapter in Book or Conference ProceedingsBook chapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on Research and Development (R&D) collaboration networks which have attracted great attention in the last decade, both in the scientific study of such networks, and in the policy sector. The rising interest can be clearly attributed to the increasing importance of networks in modern innovation processes. In times of rising R&D costs and growing complexity of knowledge production, networks are promising organizational forms to reduce uncertainty and risks, on the one hand, and effective channels for tapping highly relevant complementary knowledge, on the other hand. In regional science, specific interest has been devoted to the investigation of the spatial dynamics of such networks crossing regional boundaries. Empirical research has been largely developed at the regional level of analysis within Europe, stimulated by the introduction of the European Framework Programme on Research and Technological Development aiming to support such networks. Empirical studies typically use concepts and definitions from graph theory to describe R&D collaboration networks and their properties, and adopt a spatial interaction modeling perspective to explore their geography. In the latter context, special emphasis has been put on the explanation of cross-region collaboration intensities by barriers to collaboration, such as geographical distance, but also technological, cultural, or institutional effects that may hamper R&D collaborations between actors located in different regions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Regional Science
EditorsManfred Fischer, Peter Nijkamp
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-60722-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Research Field

  • Innovation Dynamics and Modelling


  • R&D collaborations ; Regional knowledge production ; Innovation ; Cross-region knowledge flows ; Spatial networks ; Spatial interaction ; Network analysis


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