Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

August 3, 2016

# 16.23 Place, platform, and knowledge co-production dynamics: Evidence from makers and FabLab

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , , — mattehartog @ 4:40 pm

Raphaël Suire

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FabLabs (fabrication laboratories) have become popular but the academic literature on this entrepreneurial phenomenon is scant. This paper provides some insight into the sources of Fablab performance based on original data on the characteristics and interactions between (n = 48) FabLabs and their ecosystem. A FabLab is a geographically located, intermediary platform which reduces the matching and searching costs to stakeholders involved in an entrepreneurial endeavor. We find that a FabLab is less productive if disconnected from its ecosystem. Innovation production is highest when the FabLab acts as a platform allowing interactions between small explorative firms, and large exploitative firms. Its innovation remains explorative if the interaction involves only small explorative firms. Our study has some implications for the management of FabLabs and their ambiguous impact on the overall innovation ecosystem in relation to resilience, smart specialization and diversification.

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