Marcus Conlé / Tobias ten Brink / Wei Zhao

Innovation Platforms as a Tool for Anchoring Non-Local Knowledge: Smart Specialisation Strategies in Guangdong, China

Industry and Innovation | 2022

  • Abstract

    Innovation platforms can be useful for promoting the diversification of regional industrial paths. Until recently, the literature had depicted such platforms primarily as a tool for enabling local knowledge recombination – and not for anchoring non-local knowledge. In many regions, however, ‘smart specialisation strategies’ for modernising and transforming industrial structures are difficult to implement without transplantation of non-local knowledge. This paper explores innovation platforms as a tool for anchoring non-local knowledge. We elaborate on recent Chinese experiences by studying diversification-oriented regional innovation policy in Guangdong province. We employ an embedded single-case study design, involving a regionally typical diversification strategy, which we substantiate by tracing platform development with two non-local actors, a university and a technology firm. The paper reveals that non-local actors can play an important role in unlocking regional industrial development potential, especially if platforms enable these actors to relate to local industry by performing desired intermediary functions.


    Industry and Innovation

    Number of Pages


    Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink

    Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink

    Jacobs University

    Wei Zhao

    Wei Zhao


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