Knowledge Networks in Emerging ICT Regional Innovation Systems: An Explorative Study of the Knowledge Network of Trentino ICT Innovation System

Tsouri, Maria (2017) Knowledge Networks in Emerging ICT Regional Innovation Systems: An Explorative Study of the Knowledge Network of Trentino ICT Innovation System. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Although the last thirty years Regional Innovation Systems (RIS) received great attention by policy makers, only during the last decade social networks were applied in the fields of innovation and regional economics. The majority of the existing empirical studies on networks adopt a static point of view, representing a regional knowledge network at a certain point in time, while there are few recent attempts exploring the evolution of knowledge networks and the dynamics that drive it. The present work aims at covering some of the gaps in the literature, using the dataset on collaborative projects from the ICT activity in Trentino. It introduces an original multidimensional framework to analyze the knowledge flows inside, from within and towards the regional network. It also identifies the key actors inside the region and describes their role in knowledge creation and diffusion. Concerning the spatial and temporal evolution of the knowledge networks, this thesis investigates the preferences of the economic actors operating inside regional networks, in terms of shared characteristics, while it explores the dynamics developed through time by the behavior of economic agents during high and low certainty periods, contributing to the inertia and the resilience of the regional knowledge network. The present research is the first that introduces Social Network Analysis (SNA) using data on knowledge transfer from Trentino, considering the entire universe of actors involved in the regional ICT knowledge network for the last fifteen years, and allocating it to an original multidimensional framework, in order to reveal the value of the knowledge network per se, and the impact of the regional policies on the network and not on the output of the innovation process. On the spatial evolution of networks, it explores in depth the preferences of the actors of a regional knowledge network, in order to make it more solid through strong collaborations. It proves that the effect of every kind of proximity or distance is different, while it introduces the measure of relational proximity, exploring the effect of the position of an actor inside the knowledge network in relation with the rest of the actors. However, the major finding of this thesis is the introduction of the temporal aspect in the evolution of the regional knowledge network, and the exploration of the agent behavior during periods of uncertainty. The introduction in the network evolution of an external negative event, like economic crisis, allows the deduction of useful conclusions on how the actors behave in terms of trust and collaboration creation.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Local Development and Global Dynamics (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
PhD Cycle:29
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS P/02 POLITICA ECONOMICA
Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/06 ECONOMIA APPLICATA
Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-GGR/02 GEOGRAFIA ECONOMICO-POLITICA
Uncontrolled Keywords:knowledge networks, network dynamics, knowledge flows, regional innovation systems
Repository Staff approval on:20 Apr 2017 12:30

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