Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

June 5, 2012

# 12.10 The path- and place-dependent nature of scientific knowledge production in biotech 1986-2008

Gaston Heimeriks and Ron Boschma


This study explores the worldwide spatial evolution of scientific knowledge production in biotechnology in the period 1986-2008. We employ new methodology that identifies new key topics in biotech on the basis of frequent use of title worlds in major biotech journals as an indication of new cognitive developments within this scientific field. Our analyses show that biotech is subject to a path- and place-dependent process of knowledge production. We observed a high degree of re-occurrences of similar key topics in biotech in consecutive years. Furthermore, slow growth cities in biotech are characterized by topics that are less technologically related to other topics, while high growth cities in biotech contribute to topics that are more related to the entire set of existing topics. Slow growth and stable growth cities in biotech introduced more new topics, while fast growth cities in biotech introduced more promising topics. Slow growth cities also showed low levels of research collaboration, as compared to stable and high growth cities.


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