Knowledge spillovers in a regional ecosystem: cognitive interaction in an industrial complex. A case study into cross-over activity in the Arnhem, Nijmegen, Wageningen region

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The thesis addresses how related and unrelated industries within a regional ecosystem are able to make use of regional knowledge spillovers through means of cross-over activities. The area of interest of this research, the case study area, is the Arnhem, Nijmegen & Wageningen region. At the hyper-local scale, a scale I coined, the scale of the campus and the industrial park, knowledge spillovers are more likely to occur. The proximity allows firms of different backgrounds to have a greater understanding of where they can potentially be complementary to each other, to achieve synergy. Firms in this study displayed the characteristics that are in line with the social-network model as developed by Gordon and McCann (2002). Moreover they displayed a high degree of network embeddedness, which bolsters their absorptive capacity. For firms to achieve local synergies, they need to be connected through such local networks. However the potential for related diversification effect or related variety as a business model is for the most part still underdeveloped. Despite the fact that the different sectors display areas of overlap, most of the R&D and investments remain for the core business, cross-overs are as of right now, still an afterthought.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen