Intellectual property, economic geography and regional development: innovation, proximity and smart specialization

Session organizers: 

Ioannis Kaplanis (i_kaplanis@yahoo.co.uk), Ernest Miguelez (ernest.miguelez@u-bordeaux.fr), Kyriakos Drivas (dribask@gmail.com), Claire Economidou (economidou@unipi.gr)

Intellectual property is a key element of the innovation ecosystem and a well-functioning IP system can accrue important benefits to the economy. Recent estimates by EU Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office find that IP intensive industries generated up to 28% of jobs in Europe and 42% of GDP for the period 2011-2013. Local institutions, universities and businesses, as well as physical proximity and labour mobility, can shape the different spatial patterns that innovative activity takes, enable knowledge diffusion and thus affect the economic development of the place, city or region.

This special session invites contributions that examine the presence and role of both metropolitan and/or rural European regions in the ever-changing IP landscape. European regions are largely heterogeneous both in their inventive and innovative activity. On the one hand a number of regions, both in the North and the South, are laggards when it comes to the aforementioned activities while other regions, cities and industries are prime exceptions of fast growing innovative regional development. Papers that examine the IP landscape in any form (patents, geographical indications, trademarks, plant varieties, designs etc.) at the regional level are welcome. The role of regional stakeholders (universities, industries, government and society) is also of interest in this special session. We will also consider contributions analyzing the type of technological knowledge produced within specific places, the role of related and unrelated technological activities, and the concept of smart specialization.

Contributions can be at the macro level or micro level and can take these issues either empirically or theoretically. Other topics include, but are not limited to: comparison of IP quality and exploitation across regions; how IP and innovative activity relates to growth, trade, FDI and other economy-wide variables; how knowledge is diffused between developed regions and less developed regions (comparisons between North and South are welcome). PhD students and young researchers are strongly encouraged to apply.