Knowledge Diffusion: How do Firms REALLY Learn?

Prof. Paul Robertson & Prof. David Jacobson (University of Tasmania & Dublin City University)

SAC Room, Room 110, Ground Floor, Cairnes Building / St. Anthony's, NUI Galway 11:30 :: 13th October 2010

The focus of this seminar is on non-R&D innovation. There is both survey-based and case study evidence for the fact that a substantial share of innovation is accounted for by firms that have neither R&D expenditure nor R&D departments. What is not clear however, is how, in the absence of R&D, firms obtain knowledge. This seminar, having briefly addressed the evidence for non-R&D innovation, will provide some answers concerning how firms learn.

Professor Paul Robertson, University of Tasmania and the Australian Innovation Research Centre
Paul Robertson is Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania and Research Fellow of the Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC). He lectured in economic history for more than twenty years at Boston University, the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Studies and the University of Melbourne. He subsequently shifted his research interests to technology, innovation and strategic management and joined the University of New South Wales. Paul was a professor in the Graduate School of Management, Griffith University, Brisbane until 2005. From 2002 to 2005, he was closely associated with PILOT, a European Commission–funded project that investigated the technology management practices of medium- and low-technology firms in the EU. Paul has published over sixty books and articles. Among his more recent work is a paper (2007, with P.R. Patel) in Research Policy on technological diffusion in developed countries.

Professor David Jacobson, Dublin City University Business School
David Jacobson is Professor of Economics in DCUBS and has been lecturing in economics and political economy there since 1983. He has also taught at universities in Japan, France, the United States, Israel and Cyprus. He has been a member of a number of research consortia funded by the EU, including one on policy and innovation in so-called low-tech industries (PILOT, with Paul among others), and another on aviation as a sectoral system of innovation in Europe. His other funded work has included research for SIPTU, the Marine Institute and Enterprise Ireland. He spent a term as an independent government appointee on NESC and has received a number of awards and scholarships for his research. David has published widely; among the journals in which his articles have appeared are New Technology, Economic Geography and European Urban. Most recently he worked, with Rachel Hilliard, on "Cluster Versus Firm Specific Factors in the Development of Dynamic Capabilities in the Pharmaceutical Industry in Ireland", which is forthcoming in Regional Studies.

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