Relatedness, Cross-relatedness and Regional Innovation Specializations: An Analysis of Technology, Design, and Market Activities in Europe and the US

Carolina Castaldi, Kyriakos Drivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines how regions develop new innovation specializations, covering different activities in the whole process from technological invention to commercialization. We develop a conceptual framework anchored in two building blocks: first, the conceptualization of innovation as a process spanning technology, design, and market activities; second, the application and extension of the principle of relatedness to understand developments within and between the different innovation activities. We offer an empirical investigation where we operationalize the different innovation activities using three intellectual property rights: patents, industrial designs, and trademarks. We provide two separate analyses of how relatedness and cross-relatedness matter for the emergence of new specializations: for 259 NUTS-2 European regions and for 363 metropolitan statistical areas of the US. While relatedness is significantly associated with new regional specializations for all three innovation activities, cross-relatedness between activities also plays a significant role. Our study has important policy implications for developing and monitoring smart specialization regional strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-284
Number of pages32
JournalEconomic Geography
Volume99
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • NUTS-2 regions
  • cross-relatedness
  • designs
  • innovation
  • metropolitan statistical areas
  • patents
  • regional specialization
  • relatedness
  • trademarks

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