Oasis in the desert? Bridging academics’ collaboration activities as a conduit for global knowledge flows to peripheral regions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAtta-Owusu, K. (2018) Oasis in the desert? Bridging academics’ collaboration activities as a conduit for global knowledge flows to peripheral regions. Regional Studies, Regional Science. 6 (1), pp. 265-280. 10.1080/21681376.2019.1590230
Peripheral regions, like others, require a sustained flow of global knowledge to stimulate innovation and economic growth. Unfortunately, the dearth of innovative firms in these regions hampers foreign knowledge attraction. Nevertheless, academics are recognized as potential agents to perform such a role considering their embeddedness in diverse collaboration ties. As feasible as this may seem, prior research has not thoroughly examined this proposition. This paper, therefore, investigates how the collaboration activities of bridging academics facilitate the flow of knowledge to peripheral regions. Employing a case study of academics in a peripheral region in the Netherlands, it also identifies the mechanisms enhancing knowledge flows. The findings indicate academics tend to have more collaborations with partners in academia and industry than other sectors. Additionally, they use various pathways to establish cooperation relations. Lastly, the mobility of researchers and collaborative projects constitute the widely used channels for knowledge transfer. The implications of these findings for universities and policy-makers include the need to devote particular attention to cooperation ties of faculty; and the assessment of the knowledge needs of organizations in a region and connecting them with academics with the right expertise.