Location and network effects on innovation success: evidence for UK, German and Irish manufacturing plants

James H. Love*, Stephen Roper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent developments in the new economic geography and the literature on regional innovation systems have emphasised the potentially important role of networking and the characteristics of firms' local operating environment in shaping their innovative activity. Modeling UK, German and Irish plants' investments in R&D, technology transfer and networking, and their effect on the extent and success of plants' innovation activities, casts some doubt on the importance of both of these relationships. In particular, our analysis provides no support for the contention that firms or plants in the UK, Ireland or Germany with more strongly developed external links (collaborative networks or technology transfer) develop greater innovation intensity. However, although inter-firm links also have no effect on the commercial success of plants' innovation activity, intra-group links are important in terms of achieving commercial success. We also find evidence that R&D, technology transfer and networking inputs are substitutes rather than complements in the innovation process, and that there are systematic sectoral and regional influences in the efficiency with which such inputs are translated into innovation outputs. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-661
Number of pages19
JournalResearch policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


  • collaborative networks
  • innovation systems
  • local operating environment


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