Regional Knowledge Networks of Corporations, Universities and Public Institutions

Author Name SAKATA Ichiro  (Consulting Fellow, RIETI) /KAJIKAWA Yuya  (Institute of Engineering Innovation, The University of Tokyo) /TAKEDA Yoshiyuki  (Institute of Engineering Innovation, The University of Tokyo) /SHIBATA Naoki  (Department of Technology Management for Innovation, The University of Tokyo) /HASHIMOTO Masahiro (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)/MATSUSHIMA Katsumori (Institute of Engineering Innovation, The University of Tokyo)
Creation Date/NO. October 2006 06-J-055
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The diversity of industry-university-government networks formed within regional clusters may dictate the degree of vigor of cutting-edge industries within a zone. After gaining a multidimensional grasp of the structural characteristics of the networks, we discuss their relationship with the location of concentrations of cutting-edge industries and with their growth.

Specifically, we introduced certain network analysis methods and conducted quantitative analysis of health care-related industries in the Kinki (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe) economic zone and the semiconductor industry in the northern Kyushu economic zone. As a result, we verified first that the networks in both regions and fields have the characteristics of 'small-world' networks; second, that within both networks there exist numerous modules in groupings of varying sizes, and that these have a loosely bound structure; third, that the groups of firms in same business fields within the health care-related industries in the Kinki region form tight horizontally linked modules, while among the system LSI and other semiconductor industries in northern Kyushu there is a mixture of modules formed by individual core manufacturers' vertically segmented keiretsu and horizontal collaboration, and differences in architecture between the two types were perceived; fourth, that there is a high degree of unity in the network within each discrete block-area economic zone; and fifth, that by means of microanalysis in which we observed the major nodes, we established that the core firms, research universities, trading companies, etc., in industrial fields act as connector hubs of the networks.

In these two regions characterized by the remarkable concentration and growth of industries in cutting-edge fields, wide-area networks have been formed in a manner adapted for the rapid exchange and melding of information and knowledge, joint business activity, and industry-university collaboration. This indicates the possibility that excellent networks contribute to the nurturing of cutting-edge industries. In addition, in similar large-scale, cutting-edge industries, network structures differ according to the core industrial fields and regional characteristics. Policy efforts aimed at extending networks could be more effective if they were based on these structural characteristics.