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Structural and geographical patterns of knowledge networks in emerging technological standards : evidence from the European GNSS industry

Taylor & Francis
Publication Date
  • B1- Généralités
  • F1- Histoire. Géographie
  • Economics
  • Engineering


The concentration and dispersion of innovative activities in space have been largely explained and evidenced by the nature of knowledge and the geographical extent of knowledge spillovers. One of the empirical challenges is to go beyond this by understanding how the geography of innovation is shaped by particular structural properties of knowledge networks. This paper contributes to this challenge, focusing on the particular case of global navigation satellite systems at the European level. We exploit a database of R&D collaborative projects based on the fifth and sixth European Union Framework Programs, and apply social network analysis in economic geography. We study the properties both of the network of organizations and the network of collaborative projects. We show that the nature of the knowledge involved in relationships influences the geographical and structural organizations of the technological field. The observed coexistence of a relational core/periphery structure with a geographical cluster/pipeline one is discussed in the light of the industrial and geographical dynamics of technological standards.

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