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Über dieses Buch

This book critically examines the phenomenon and the consequences of the increasing inter-dependence between industry, universities and national laboratories. It explores the contrasts and similarities between the patterns of formal and informal links in a technologically dynamic industry (electronic components) with those in a traditional industry (flow measurement) in the UK, France and Belgium. It uses evidence from interviews with firms, academics and industry organisations in the three countries to identify the major factors which regulate links.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Introduction

Abstract
From the 1980s industry’s acquisition of externally developed technology became a focus of public policy and of academic research. The sentiments in the UK’s Department of Industry report quoted above regarding industry’s need to capitalize on the knowledge resources in the science base were replicated in government reports from countries in the developed and the developing world. At the same time, academic studies in Europe and in the US were documenting the growing complexity and spatial diversity of the innovation process in which industry and academic links had become measurably stronger. Studies, like the one discussed in this book, were predicated on the assumption that the balance of innovation had in some ways shifted away from the firm as the focal point, into universities and national laboratories, which for the purposes of this book are described as the public sector science base (PSSB(.
Helen Lawton Smith

Background

Frontmatter

1. Territories of Innovation: Innovation as a Collective Process and the Globalization of Competition

Abstract
The forms of production organization, of production process logistics, of defining technological and organizational trajectories, have undergone rather dramatic changes over the past two decades or so. In addition, competitive mechanisms and systems of technological innovation have also changed in innumerable ways and are expected to continue to do so in the course of the foreseeable future. The consumer commodities and equipment producing industries, which underpinned post-war economic growth in most advanced capitalist countries — automobiles, chemicals, heavy engineering — are no longer considered to be the linchpin of national economic recovery and modernization. They have been replaced by advanced knowledge-intensive industries and services; activities whose success is predicated upon continuous technological innovation and organizational adjustment.
Erik Swyngedouw

2. The Regulatory Context: International, National and Regional Components

Abstract
In the last two decades, throughout North America and Europe, industry and academic links have been identified as an important means for increasing output from national technical resources and improving industrial competitiveness ( see David et al. 1994; Roobeek 1990; Ergas 1993; Charles and Howells 1992; Van Dierdonck et al. 1990, Chanaron 1989, and Brunat and Reverdy 1989). Official statements from each of the three case study countries and the EU express the view that the PSSB should stimulate and support innovation in industry. Examples from the UK include ACARD, 1983; ACOST 1991; Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI) 1988; the 1993 White Paper ‘ Realising Our Potential’; from France the Ministère de la Recherche et de la Technologie ( MRT) policy statement ( 1990), and from Belgium the Conseil National De La Politique Scientific ( 1984) policy document. Public policy in effect aims to create a set of norms whereby industrial access to research in universities and more recently, in national laboratories, is standard practice.
Helen Lawton Smith

3. Industry, University and National Laboratory Links

Abstract
Links between industry, universities and national laboratories are increasingly common, complex and spatially extensive. Recent studies have highlighted the growing tendency for firms to have some form of link, usually with a university but sometimes with a national laboratory. Most have dismissed the idea that innovation is a linear process and emphasize instead that it is an interactive and social process and that informal links between industry and the pSSB may be more important than formal interactions. Some research has focused on the geographical clustering of links between firms and universities while others have demonstrated the trend towards the internationalization of R&D activity. Yet another body of research has focused on the institutional context to identify how regulatory change has reconfigured relationships between universities, national laboratories and industry.
Helen Lawton Smith

Industrial Change

Frontmatter

4. The Organization of Industry Filieres in the Flow Measurement and Electronic Component Industries

Abstract
The purpose of this chapter is to provide the background to the empirical evidence in Chapters 5 and 7 on the factors which influence the conditions under which firms in the two study sectors interact with universities and national laboratories. The first section discusses general factors which other studies have found to be important in firms’ propensity to acquire externally developed technology. The second describes the main features of the two study sectors in each country. The final section draws these two strands together to summarize which factors would be likely to influence firms’ Participation in networking, collaboration and externalization activities with the PSSB.
Helen Lawton Smith

Comparative Analysis

Frontmatter

5. Externalization patterns in the Flow Measurement Industry

Abstract
This chapter discusses the main findings of interviews with firms in the flow measurement industry in the UK, France and Belgium. It takes a thematic approach comparing innovation strategies, patterns of linkages with universities and national laboratories. The objective is to identify the major factors influencing the extent and form of the sample’s links with the pSSB. The chapter is in five sections. In the first, the sample is introduced. In the second, the firms’ innovation strategies are identified. The third section examines the extent of externalization, networking and collaboration. In the fourth, the problems and benefits associated with interaction with the pSSB are discussed. The final section summarises the main findings.
Helen Lawton Smith

6. The Views of Universities and National Laboratories: the Flow Measurement Industry

Abstract
In Chapter 5 it was shown that the main drivers of innovation in flow measurement were improving accuracy, new meter design and meeting competition by widening the range of meters offered rather than by radical advances in technology. Here the impact of those drivers on firms in the industry’s relationship with universities and national laboratories is examined by reporting on the views of academics, scientists and engineers interviewed in each of the three countries. An objective is to examine the extent to which there is a match between the geographical and technological spaces in which individuals working in the pSSB and those in industry inhabit.
Helen Lawton Smith

7. Externalization Patterns in the Electronic Components Industry

Abstract
This chapter examines linkages between firms in the electronic components industry and universities and national laboratories. It follows the same structure as Chapter 5. It highlights the main factors which regulate the characteristics and strength of the filieres in this sector in each country. It also indicates some of the main differences between this sample of electronic components firms and that of the flow measurement industry.
Helen Lawton Smith

8. The Views of Universities and National Laboratories: the Electronic Components Industry

Abstract
In Chapter 7 the focus was on the use of universities and national laboratories by the electronic components industry and the various means by which links were constructed. The main message from that chapter was that there were distinct differences in expectations between what industry wanted and the way that PSSB institutions responded. Here the opposite (or complementary) point of view is presented. The main theme which emerges is that there is a strong sense of identity with the electronics industry in all three countries but at the same time there is considerable frustration at the distortion of the balance between shortterm and long-term projects as the necessity to provide a service to industry takes priority over ‘blue sky’ research.
Helen Lawton Smith

Conclusions

Frontmatter

9. Innovation Filieres and the Geography of Innovation

Abstract
This concluding chapter reviews the empirical evidence presented in Chapters 5 to 8 on national and sectoral differences in the organization of innovation filieres. It compares patterns of technology transfer in the electronic components and flow measurement industries and considers the interdependence between the factors which were responsible for changing patterns of technology transfer and the geographical construction of innovation filieres. The evidence shows that the resulting geographical forms which filieres took in each sector and in each country were quite varied. At the one extreme, innovation filieres were geographically focused on centres of excellence, were strengthened by a plurality of different sources of innovation (see Metcalfe 1993 cited in Cowling and Sugden 1998, 257) and included interactions which incorporated flows of information acquired through networks of innovators in other countries. At the other, filieres were geographically static consisting primarily of externalized interactions with a narrow range of institutions within the national system of innovation. In between were loosely constructed filieres which were spatially diffuse and constructed of an eclectic set of interactions with Participants drawing on information from different places at different times as the need arose.
Helen Lawton Smith

Backmatter

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