Do systemic innovation intermediaries broaden horizons? A proximity perspective on R&D partnership formation
In this paper Matthijs J. Janssen, Maya Bogers and Iris Wanzenböck argue that as systemic innovation intermediaries (SII) orchestrate interactions between innovative actors, they might alleviate the constraints of proximity effects on R&D partnership formation.
In this paper they test this for existing and new R&D projects, established under the Dutch Topconsortia for Knowledge and Innovation.
Regression results show that partnerships between firms belonging to the same SII are less sensitive to cognitive proximity, suggesting that the intermediaries facilitate uncommon distant collaboration. At the same time, the authors find that SII may strengthen social proximity among partners. The influence of organisational proximity seems independent of SII, while geographic proximity loses relevance after the introduction of the intermediaries. SII thus seem to create bridges between distant firms that otherwise may not have collaborated together, while also enhancing the risk of excessive in-group thinking. The authors conclude with research and policy implications.
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