Innovation is often seen as a main driver of economic growth and prosperity in highly developed countries. Without innovation, competitiveness cannot be achieved. In economic geography, this idea has been very influential – extended by a spatial dimension – for some time, as seen in the concepts of clusters, innovative milieus and regional innovation systems show.
The literature shows the implicit assumption that innovation only occurs in cities or in regions with a high concentration of firms and institutions within the same economic sector. However, more recent empirical findings show that innovation cannot be generalised and that different forms occur in both, rural and urban areas.
Based on recent theoretical and empirical results, the dissertation project addresses the question of how firms organize their innovation process in different spatial settings. This concerns questions like how external knowledge is integrated within the firm, how important spatial proximity still is and what (dis-)advantages are seen at the certain location.
Methodologically, a quantitative analysis will provide information on the different regional innovation bases firms can draw on in rural areas, in contrast to urban areas. In addition, qualitative methods will be applied to highlight in detail the innovation process in contrasting spatial contexts. In doing so, a holistic picture on the concerned topic will be given.
The dissertation is paper based. The journal articles are listed and described below. Additionally, a research report summarizes the main findings in German and can be accessed here.
Eder, Jakob (2018): Innovation in the Periphery: A Critical Survey and Research Agenda. In: International Regional Science Review, 42(2), 119-146. [Epub ahead of print]
Eder, Jakob (2018): Peripheralization and knowledge bases in Austria: towards a new regional typology. In: European Planning Studies, 27(1), 42-67.
Eder, Jakob und Michaela Trippl (2019): Innovation in the periphery: Compensation and exploitation strategies. In: Growth and Change, epub ahead of print, pp. 1-21.