Regional knowledge spaces: the interplay of entry-relatedness and entry-potential for technological change and growth

knowledge space
knowledge gravity model
co-occurrence network
patent document
technological change
network analysis
The Journal of Technology Transfer

Dieter F. Kogler

Ronald B. Davies

Changjun Lee

Keungoui Kim*



This paper aims to uncover the mechanism of how the network properties of regional knowledge spaces contribute to technological change from the perspective of regional knowledge entry-relatedness and regional knowledge entry-potential. Entry-relatedness, which has been previously employed to investigate the technology evolution of regional economies, is advanced by introducing a knowledge gravity model. The entry-potential of a newly acquired regional specialisation has been largely ignored in the relevant literature; surprisingly given the high relevance that is attributed to the recombination potential of new capabilities. In other words, just adding new knowledge domains to a system is not sufficient alone, it really depends on how these fit into the existing system and thus can generate wider economic benefits. Based on an empirical analysis of EU-15 Metro and non-Metro regions from 1981 to 2015, we find that entry-relatedness has a significant negative association with novel inventive activities, while entry-potential has a significant positive association with the development of novel products and processes of economic value. This highlights that regions’ capacity to venture into high-potential areas of technological specialization in the knowledge space outperforms purely relatedness driven diversification that is frequently promoted in the relevant literature.