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Geography and innovation: an analysis of the effects of industrial clustering and its policy implications


The main objective of this research proposal is to examine the factors that justify the importance of the local dimension of the innovation and, in this way, express the linkages between geography and innovation. Hence, this research project aims to analyse the factors that foster information exchange and knowledge sharing among local actors, which has important effects for innovation in firms.The project is structured in three main tracks. First, it will be done empirical studies, using econometric tools, in order to measure the linkages between geography and innovation and the local knowledge spillovers. There is some previous work in the literature that had evaluated the role of local knowledge spillovers to foster firms' innovative efforts. These works will be the main reference for the application to Brazil. The second track is linked to the evaluation of the role of geographical proximity to stimulate university-industry linkages. Again, several previous works in the literature showed the local dimension of the interaction between academic research and firms' R&D efforts. The third track is linked to the analysis of the experience of local production systems in Brazil. It will be selected some experiences of industrial clusters in Brazil that will be object of a deep qualitative study.As a result, it is expected that the research can shed some new light in the understanding of the factors related to the linkages between geography and innovation. A special concern is regarding to the main factors that stimulate the creation and dissemination of local knowledge flows and, in this ways, foster firms' innovative efforts. These results will be embodied in scientific publication in high-impact journals, in the presentation of works in academics congress and seminars and in the development of young researchers, through the coordination of PhD theses, master dissertation and scientific initiation, apart from the organization of seminars to discuss and to disseminate the research findings. In addition to the academic outcomes, these results will be also used to support the discussion of policy implication relates to the clustering of firms and other actors, such as universities. Hence, the main results of the research will support the proposal of the main guidelines for industrial and S&T policies, which will be capable to take the better advantage of the benefits of clustering of firms and the geographical proximity among actors. (AU)