Place, Space and Distance: Towards a Geography of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services Innovation
Much has been written about the link between local networks and institutions, about place and territory, and the capacity to innovate. In this paper we set out to answer two questions, based upon a survey of 1,122 knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) firms in the province of Quebec, Canada. First, do KIBS firms in different regions display different propensities to innovate? If so, this will be taken as prima facie evidence that there is some connection between local context and innovation. Second, can any regional level explanatory variables be found to explain the different levels of regional innovation? We find evidence that geographic patterns of innovation exist amongst KIBS firms in Quebec, although they are not those expected if there were a connection between local territory and innovation. We find that innovation first decreases with distance from the core of metropolitan areas, then, after 30-50 km, begins to increase again, though this pattern is not the same for all sub-sectors. This pattern is in keeping with recent theoretically derived expectations relating to the geography of innovation.
Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), innovation, distance, territories,
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