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The Swedish system of innovation: Regional synergies in a knowledge-based economy

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Abstract

Based on the complete set of firm data for Sweden (N = 1,187,421; November 2011), we analyze the mutual information among the geographical, technological, and organizational distributions in terms of synergies at regional and national levels. Using this measure, the interaction among three dimensions can become negative and thus indicate a net export of uncertainty by a system or, in other words, synergy in how knowledge functions are distributed over the carriers. Aggregation at the regional level (NUTS3) of the data organized at the municipal level (NUTS5) shows that 48.5% of the regional synergy is provided by the 3 metropolitan regions of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö/Lund. Sweden can be considered a centralized and hierarchically organized system. Our results accord with other statistics, but this triple helix indicator measures synergy more specifically and quantitatively. The analysis also provides us with validation for using this measure in previous studies of more regionalized systems of innovation (such as Hungary and Norway).

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