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How different types of proximity affect the performance of innovation networks and precincts


You are invited to the 2022 Tom Spurling Oration, presented by Professor Ron Boschma at 5.30-7.00pm on Monday, 7th November 2022 at Swinburne University, Hawthorn. 

Professor Ron Boschma (Utrecht University) is the leading international authority on how different forms of proximity (cognitive, organisational, social, institutional and spatial) affect firms in innovation ecosystems.

Professor Boschma’s research addresses questions such as why are some individuals or networks better connected than others? Whether individuals and firms that are spatially proximate show a higher degree of connectivity? And whether the types of proximity are substitutes or complements and why?

He claims that spatial proximity is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for inter-firm learning and innovation. The spatial evolution of innovation networks does not necessarily increase their innovative performance. There is an optimal level of proximity between agents. The advantages of being spatially proximate depend crucially on the nature of the knowledge at hand. Simple knowledge flows equally to actors near and far, while complex knowledge is unlikely to diffuse, no matter how proximate actors are. With knowledge of moderate complexity, however, the outcomes show that more close actors are in a better position to benefit from knowledge diffusion, in contrast to more distant recipients.

Professor Boschma’s insights are timely given the recent investments by business and government in industrial precincts and networks.

Registrations are essential. Enquiries: cti@swin.edu.au