Regional Patterns of Co-Patenting by Technological Field, A Europe - US Comparison
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Theory suggests that regions provide interfaces between inter-regional flows of knowledge, as much recombining of knowledge, i.e. learning, takes place at the local level. Beyond a mere confirmation of this well-known finding, this paper illustrates that such interfaces differ with regard to the degree of technological relatedness of inter-regional flows that intersect locally - and that certain knowledge flows are more likely to be combined than others. To substantiate this claim, a differentiated set of networks of knowledge exchange is empirically developed for a number of technological fields by means of patent analysis. Moreover, we point out that general framework conditions impact on the pattern of intersection between networks. Hence, we investigate technology-specific structures of inter-regional knowledge exchange in two major regions, Europe and the United States. In the US case the networks display a pattern driven by a technological logic whereas in Europe they seem to be characterized by a hierarchy of multi-field centers.