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Modeling interregional research collaborations in German biotechnology using industry directory data: A quantitative social network analysis

Mitze, Timo and Strotebeck, Falk (2017): Modeling interregional research collaborations in German biotechnology using industry directory data: A quantitative social network analysis.

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Abstract

We use industry directory data as a novel source of information to model the strength of interregional research collaboration in German biotechnology. Specifically, we gather data on the number of research collaborations for biotech actors listed in the BIOCOM Year and Address book and aggregate this information to the level of German NUTS3 regions. This allows us to set up a modeling framework that treats individual regions as nodes of the biotech research network. We then specify the collaboration activity between regional nodes as a function of research and economic capacities at the regional level, the geographical proximity between regions, and policy variables. Our results show that the strength of interregional research collaboration can be related to both node properties and the relationship between nodes. As such, we find that modern locational factors are positively correlated with the extent of interregional research collaboration, while geographical distance is found to be an impediment to collaboration. The results further show that the pursuit of network and cluster policies in the biotech sector, particularly through collaborative R&D funding, is positively related to the strength of the interregional collaboration activity.

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