Geographies of Knowledge Production and Knowledge Flow

The production and distribution of knowledge play critical roles in the generation of competitive advantage for firms and regions in the market economy. Knowledge is produced in organizations through learning and dedicated R&D, and is exchanged between firms and other economic agents through collaborative research efforts and broader interactions with suppliers and customers. There is by now broad agreement that regions at all scales vary in terms of the composition of their knowledge assets, the character of their knowledge bases and systems of innovation. There is much less agreement on how spatially concentrated knowledge production is, especially for knowledge types that might be considered more valuable and perhaps less mobile.

Renewed attention to spatial inequality has led to calls for a re-examination of the relative importance of agglomeration and non-local geographies of knowledge sourcing. And this even before the COVID-19 pandemic! These questions seem particularly crucial for the transition towards a green economy that will require new technologies, alternative forms of innovation and new industry development in regions. Whether the capabilities critical to knowledge production reside within organizations or regions and how easily they can be moved has obvious consequences for effective policy design to support more even, inclusive and sustainable development across space.

This theme welcomes submissions on topics including: