New collaborations and novel innovations: the role of regional brokerage and collaboration intensity

February 16, 2024 9:28 am Published by

In this paper, we investigate the role of brokers in the regional innovation network and its influence on innovative and collaborative outcomes. For this purpose, we make use of data from the European Patent Office and Eurostat in the period 1986–2015. We first build the regional collaboration network based on co-inventorship ties, and then we identify the brokerage roles played by each region, using the original taxonomy proposed by Gould and Fernandez (1989), to disentangle their impact on innovation and collaboration. Finally, we investigate regional collaboration intensity and how it interacts with brokerage roles, highlighting its mediating effect. Our findings indicate that brokerage roles contribute to the extension of collaboration networks, but also that they are not efficient for the creation of innovation. Collaboration intensity, on the other hand, enhances both innovation and collaborative outcomes and shows how a region can benefit from being a broker.

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