Socio-spatial foundations of knowledge flow in the Irish biotechnology industry and the role of digital ecosystems

Dr Chris van Egeraat and Dr Declan Curran (NUI Maynooth)

CA 113, JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway 14:00 :: 13th January 2010

A Digital Ecosystem (DE) is a self-organising digital infrastructure established with the aim of creating a digital environment for networked organizations which is capable of supporting co-operation, knowledge sharing, the development of open and adaptive technologies and evolutionary business models. Digital Ecosystems provide structures of communication and collaboration that can facilitate collective learning, knowledge flow and innovation across SMEs, academic research communities and other actors. The EU funded OPAALS and DEN4DEK research communities are developing a theoretical foundation for Digital Ecosystems. As members, the authors have investigated the social and spatial foundations of knowledge flows in innovation processes of the biotechnology sector. The presentation includes a discussion of the social and spatial foundations of knowledge flows as well as a discussion of the network structure of the Irish biotechnology industry based on social network analysis.

Chris van Egeraat (PhD, DCU Business School) has worked as a research officer at the ESRI, DCU, UCD and NIRSA, NUI Maynooth where he was promoted to Research Fellow in 2007. His research interests and publications focus on the production/innovation networks and regional economic development. He is a member of the NIRSA Board and Vice-Chair of the Regional Studies Association, Irish Branch.

Dr Declan Curran joined NIRSA from the University of Hamburg, where he completed a PhD in Economics (June 2008). His research interests include empirical analysis of regional growth, spatial econometric methods, and social network analysis. Dr Curran's recent research focuses on the evolving industrial structure of the Ireland’s FDI-intensive industries, as well as network analysis of indigenous Irish industrial concentrations.

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