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Multinational Enterprises in Regional Innovation Processes

Empirical Insights into Intangible Assets, Open Innovation and Firm Embeddedness in Regional Innovation Systems in Europe


Jan-Philipp Kramer

This book is positioned at the interface of research in economic geography and strategic management, combining topics like intangible assets (IAs), Open Innovation strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and Regional Innovation Systems (RIS). A micro-approach to analyzing the innovation behavior of nine MNEs in two advanced European economies, Germany and the UK, was applied, which has revealed key channels through which IAs are enhanced in the innovation processes of multinationals and has described their spatial roots and impact. Moreover, the study presents a novel matrix of the regional embeddedness of MNEs and systematically classifies the case study firms. Finally, it shows that geographical proximity to RIS is important for Open Innovation and enables MNEs to strengthen their absorptive capacity.


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40 3 Open Innovation and Regional Innovation Systems: An Economic Geography Perspective Abstract Open Innovation and Regional Innovation Systems have been at the forefront of research ef- forts in the innovation management and geography of innovation literatures, respectively. Open Innovation emphasizes the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to acce- lerate internal innovation and expand the markets for the external use of innovation, while the RIS concept presents a thorough framework explaining how regional, i.e. sub-national, know- ledge generation and exploitation subsystems interact to promote the commercialization of new knowledge (including links to global, national and other regional systems). Acknowledging the increasing importance of a conjunct perspective, this chapter ex- amines the still embryonic understanding of the conceptual links between the two concepts and presents an overview of empirical evidence from the literature to support the argument. It is shown that the two concepts share some fundamental grounds as they highlight how inno- vation is essentially an interactive and evolutionary process that benefits from knowledge spillovers and is supported by network capabilities, a favorable institutional framework, and human as well as social capital. The review of recent empirical studies also supports the im- portance of the geographical dimension for Open Innovation. Keywords Open Innovation, Regional Innovation Systems, Spatial Organization of Innovation. 3.1 Introduction Over the last two decades, a significant amount of research has elaborated on two areas related to the process of innovation: (1) the role and configuration of National Innovation Systems (NIS) and Regional Innovation Systems...

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