Does Geography Matter for Science-Based Firms? Epistemic Communities and the Geography of Research and Patenting in Biotechnology

Michelle Gittelman
2007 Organization science (Providence, R.I.)  
This paper has benefited from helpful comments from three anonymous reviewers, Juan Alcacer, Diana Hicks, Ram Mudambi, Jan Rivkin, Til Schuermann, Paula Stephan, seminar participants at NYU, Temple University, Rutgers University, the 2003 Wharton Technology Mini-Conference, and the 2004 Harvard Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference. Numerous studies have documented the performance benefits of spatial agglomeration for small, knowledge intensive firms. A key claim of this paper is that the
more » ... paper is that the benefits of spatial proximity are strong for technological innovation, but less so for scientific research. As a result, the geography of collaboration for science-based firms should reflect different social logics governing technological innovation on the one hand and open research on the other. In an analysis of coauthored scientific papers by a large sample of start-up biotechnology firms, I show that research teams that are spatially clustered are more likely to publish papers that are subsequently cited in the firms patents, whereas teams that are globally dispersed produce papers that are more highly cited in the scientific literature. The results point to different processes governing successful research and innovation, and the difficulties faced by firms who produce knowledge that has both a public-goods character as well as private value for the firm 1
doi:10.1287/orsc.1070.0249 fatcat:mbyktqsbjreylbiqhrjolwepcm