Geographies of innovation

Much of my research over the last ten years has been on this topic. Often with my colleague David Doloreux, I have looked at innovation in small towns and peripheral regions, and innovation in Knowledge Intensive Business Services, the Wine Industry and the Manufacturing sector. Some key findings that have emerged from this research are:

1) that establishments (whether KIBS or Manufacturing) are just as likely to innovate in small towns and peripheral areas as they are if they are located in large cities;

2) that establishments in small towns and peripheral areas tend towards ‘slow’ innovation, i.e. less frequent contact with interlocutors and higher reliance on technical and non-market (e.g. university, research centres) information.

3) diversity is not an attribute of cities. It is multi-dimensional, and along some dimensions (e.g. meeting people in many different contexts, meeting people in different social classes and in different age groups) can be higher in small towns.

4) knowledge is not an attribute of cities. Certain types of knowledge (e.g. know-how necessary for wine growing) can be sourced from small towns and peripheral areas, and is not necessarily clustered in wine districts. Other types of knowledge – that cut across sectors or that is specific to more urban sectors – tends to be urban.

These broad observations emerge from a long series of papers….amongst this list I highlight a few that summarise some of these ideas or that provide overviews.

Summaries and overviews

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur, Porto, I. and J.Zabala, 2020, DUI and STI innovation in the Canadian wine industry: the geography of interactions modes, Growth and Change, doi.org/10.1111/grow.12385

Shearmur, R., 2020, Innovation in Canadian Cities, in. M.Moos, D.Pfeiffer and T.Vinodrai (eds) Canadian Cities in Transition, Oxford University Press

Shearmur, R., 2019, Why We Should Stop Conflating Cities With Innovation and Creativity, Citylab, 2nd December 2019,

Meili, R. and R.Shearmur, 2019, Diverse diversities – Open innovation in small towns and rural areas, Growth and Change, 50.2, 492-514

Shearmur, R, 2017, Urban Bias in Innovation Studies, in Bathelt, H., P.Cohendet, S.Henn and L.Simon (eds), The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (Chapter 27)

Shearmur,R., 2015, Far from the Madding Crowd: Slow Innovators, Information Value and the Geography of Innovation, Growth & Change, 46.2, 424-442

Shearmur R., 2012, Are cities the font of innovation? A critical review of the literature on cities and innovation, Cities, 29.2, S9-S18

Shearmur, R., 2007, The New Knowledge Aristocracy: A Few Thoughts on the Creative Class, Mobility and Urban Growth, Work Labour, Organisation and Globalisation, 1.1, 31-47

(Many) other papers exploring various aspects of innovation, geography and KIBS

Doloreux, D. & R.Shearmur, 2019, Moving Clusters to the next level: Canada’s ocean Supercluster, Marine Policy, 98, 33-36

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and A.van Asche, 2019, Combined innovation and export strategies of KIBS in different regional settings, Industry & Innovation, https://doi.org/10.1080/13662716.2018.1498769

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2019, KIBS as Both Innovators and Knowledge Intermediaries in the Innovation Process: Intermediation as a Contingent Role, Papers in Regional Science, DOI:10.1111/pirs.12354

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and M.Rodriguez, 2018, Internal R&D and External Information in Knowledge-Intensive Business Service Innovation: Complementary, Substitutable or Independent?, Technological and Economic Development of Economy, https://doi.org/10.3846/tede.2018.5694

Rodriguez, M., Doloreux, D., and R.Shearmur, 2017, Variety in external knowledge sourcing and innovation novelty: Evidence from the KIBS sector in Spain, Technovation, doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2017.06.003

Carrincazeaux, C., D.Doloreux and R.Shearmur, 2016, Une analyse régionale comparative de la géographie de l’innovation: le cas des SFIC en France et au Canada, Revue d’Économie Régionale et Urbaine, 2016.5, 1043-74

Shearmur, R., C.Carrincazeaux and D.Doloreux (eds), 2016, Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 1-21

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and D.Figueiredo, 2016, Québec’s coastal maritime cluster: its impact on regional economic development, 2001-2011, Marine Policy, 71, 201-09

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2016, Does the geographic distribution of KIBS affect the use of services for innovation? Empirical evidence from Quebec, in Ferreira, J., M.Raposo, C.Fernandes and M.Desjardin (eds), Knowledge Intensive Business Services and Regional Competitiveness, London: Routledge, 99-125

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2016, How open innovation processes vary between urban and remote environments: slow innovators, market-sourced information and frequency of interaction, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, DOI: 10.1080/08985626.2016.1154984, 28.5-6, 337-357

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and M.Rodriguez, 2016, Determinants of R&D in knowledge-intensive business services firms, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 25.4, 391-405

Shearmur, R., 2016, Innovateurs introvertis et connaissances techniques: au-delà des systems territoriaux, in M-J.Fortin and M.Handfield (eds), Repenser l’Innovation Hors Métropole, Rimouski: Editions du GRIDEQ, 30-52

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2015, Central places or networks? Paradigms, metaphors, and spatial configurations of innovation-related service use, Environment and Planning A, 47, 1521-39

Rodriguez, M., D.Doloreux and R.Shearmur, 2015, Innovation strategies, innovator types and openness: A study of KIBS firms in Spain, Service Business, DOI 10.1007/s11628-015-0286-x

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2015, KIBS use and innovation: high-order services, geographic hierarchies and internet use in Quebec’s manufacturing sector, Regional Studies, 49.10, 1654-71

Doloreux, D. R.Shearmur and R.Guillaume, 2015, Collaboration, (transferable and non-transferable) knowledge and innovation: a study of cool climate wine industry (Canada), Growth & Change, 46.1, 16-37

Shearmur, R., D.Doloreux and A.Lapierre, 2015, Is the degree of Internationalisation Associated with the use of Knowledge Intensive Services or with Innovation? International Business Review, 24.3, 457-465

Shearmur,R., 2015, Far from the Madding Crowd: Slow Innovators, Information Value and the Geography of Innovation, Growth & Change, 46.2, 424-442

Bonnet-Gravois, N., and R.Shearmur, 2014, Quel rôle réel pour les réseaux de firmes dans l’innovation locale? Une analyse des bassins d’emplois canadiens durant la période 1997-2005, Revue d’Économie Régionale et Urbaine, 2014.1, 121-54

Plassard, M. and R.Shearmur, 2014, SFIC et innovation : Les dynamiques géographiques de l’innovation à Québec, Canadian Geographer, 58.2, 244-262

Shearmur, R., 2013, Le triomphe des métropoles? Et si l’innovation métropolitaine n’était qu’un mythe?, in Klein, J-L. et R.Guillaume (eds), Vers une nouvelle géographie économique, Québec : Presses de l’Université du Québec, 93-126

Shearmur, R., 2013, Étudier la Géographie de l’Innovation: Pourquoi, Comment et Perspectives, Compendium d’indicateurs de l’activité scientifique et technologique au Québec : Edition 2013, Québec : Institut de la statistique du Québec, 31-50

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur 2013, Innovation Strategies: Are Knowledge Intensive Business Services Just Another Source of Information? Industry and Innovation, 20.8, 719-738

Shearmur, R., 2013, Que reste-t-il de la classe créative?, Nouveau projet, 2013.3

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2013, Innovation and KIBS: The Contribution of KIBS to Innovation in Manufacturing Establishments, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 22:8, 751-774, DOI:10.1080/10438599.2013.786581

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2012, How much does KIBS Contribute to R&D Activities of Manufacturing Firms?, Economia Politica, 29.3, 319-42

Shearmur, R., 2012, La Géographie des Comportements d’Innovation au Québec, Revue d’Économie Régionale et Urbaine, 2012.4, 623-48

Shearmur, R., 2012, The geography of intra-metropolitan KIBS innovation: distinguishing agglomeration economies from innovation dynamics, Urban Studies, 49.11, 2331-56 , doi: 10.1177/0042098011431281

Shearmur, R., 2012, Not being there: why local innovation is not (always) related to local factors, in Westeren, K. (ed), Foundations of the Knowledge Economy: Innovation, Learning and Clusters, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 117-139

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2012, Collaboration, Information and the Geography of Innovation in Knowledge Intensive Business Services, Journal of Economic Geography, 12.1, 79-105

Doloreux, D., R.Guillaume and R.Shearmur, 2011, Production et diffusion de l’innovation dans les régions satellites: l’exemple du Québec, Revue d’Économie Régionale et Urbaine, 2011/5, doi : 10.3917/reru.115.0849.

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