The influence of localization on the diffusion of technological knowledge The case of organic chemistry
Castillo Camus, G.A.E. Del
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Although diffusion is a complex process, it has not received the same attention as knowledge production. It is relatively unknown what guides the direction of technological knowledge diffusion, where sole empirical studies have only pointed to cognitive proximity as a compass. But in this case, diffusion patterns would be irrelevant of local context. By using an innovation system perspective, this thesis sees technological knowledge diffusion as a co-evolving user-producer interaction to argue that it is guided by both cognitive proximity and locality. This hypothesis is tested through the analysis of patent citations from organic chemistry, a field of deep industrial and scientific embedding. The results found give empirical evidence on how knowledge is heterogeneously diffused in different countries depending on the local presence of related scientific communities and industries. In consequence, technological relatedness is claimed to be locally built by user-producer interactions and more importantly, path dependency is suggested as a place dependent process. These discoveries encourage policy makers to support research in areas that are coherent with the local technological communities and industrial portfolios so as to take advantage of the benefits of new knowledge that has been locally produced.