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International R&D Cooperation between Low-tech SMEs: The Role of Cultural and Geographical Proximity

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Although there is a considerable amount of empirical evidence on inter-firm collaborations within technology-based industries, there are only a few works focussing on R&D cooperation by low-tech firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Providing further and new evidence based on a recently built database of CRAFT projects, this study analyses the relationship between technology and proximity in international R&D networks using HOMALS and statistical cluster techniques. The resulting typology of international cooperative R&D projects highlights that successful international cooperative R&D projects are both culturally/geographically closer and distant. Moreover, and quite interestingly, geographically distant projects are technologically more advanced whereas those located near each other are essentially low-tech. Such evidence is likely to reflect the tacit-codified knowledge debate boosted recently by the information and communication technology (ICT) “revolution” emphasized by the prophets of the “Death of Distance” and the “End of Geography”.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: INESC Porto, Faculdade de Economia, CEMPRE, Universidade do Porto, Portugal 2: MIETE, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal 3: Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Publication date: 01 July 2008

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