The Role of the Interplay between Science and Invention Networks in Knowledge Cohesion: Evidence from European Regions

Akçomak I. S. , Erdil E. , Özman-Gossart M., Çetinkaya U. Y.

Project Supported by Public Organizations in Other Countries, 2020 - 2022

  • Project Type: Project Supported by Public Organizations in Other Countries
  • Begin Date: May 2020
  • End Date: March 2022

Project Abstract

There is a large literature associating knowledge and economic growth where innovation is identified as an important mechanism that translates knowledge into growth. Within this tradition, the literature linking knowledge production and diffusion to innovation is rich as well. We will contribute to this literature by looking at the dynamics of science (research) and invention (patent) networks.


The aim of this project is to analyse international collaborations in science on one hand, and inventive activity on the other, to see how the landscape of knowledge production and diffusion in Europe has changed in the last decade. The project further aims at investigating to what extent collaborations in science and collaborations in patents are related. Governments around the world fund such collaborative initiatives; one such example is the EU’s Framework Programmes for research and innovation. Therefore, both academics and policy makers will benefit from knowing the impact of research collaborations on patents, and also impact of patents on further research collaborations. The research idea rests on the following four research questions which this project addresses: 1) Do patent and research networks have similar dynamics? 2) Do patents have any impact on the formation and evolution of research networks? 3) Do the innovation performances of regions effect the formation and evolution of patent networks? 4) Do the innovation performances of regions affect the formation and evolution of research networks?


This project will build on our earlier work (Akçomak, 2018; Akçomak, Erdil and Çetinkaya, 2018) on knowledge cohesion in Europe. The research idea also builds on recent research on the impact of collaborative research and patent networks on innovative outcomes (De Noni, Orsi and Belussi, 2018; Bednarz and Broekel, 2019; Balland, Boschma and Ravet, 2019). It departs from the existing literature in two aspects. We will look at the dynamics of knowledge diffusion and innovation in the past 20 years using data on international collaborations on research projects (EU’s FPs) and collaborations in patents in Europe. By analysing the networks, we aim to shed light on whether the core-periphery structure in knowledge production still holds and whether there are emerging knowledge hubs both in terms of research and inventive activity. We further aim to investigate the relation between scientific knowledge production network and inventive activity network by analysing longitudinal network data. To our knowledge this has never been done before and it will show us network dynamics of patent and research networks, including the effects of structure and actors’ decisions, which is largely unknown. Finally, the project will conclude with the policy implications and business perspectives of the findings.