NETWORKING AND CLUSTERING OF INNOVATIVE FIRMS: Knowledge diffusion between large firms, SMEs and platforms, The case of patents in Artificial Intelligence (D5.8)

The way knowledge is produced and diffuses between institutions is a phenomenon that has always attracted considerable interest among scholars. Many aspects are yet to be explored, especially with the advent of platforms and new technologies. Knowledge being by nature an elusive concept, the first issue is of course its measurement, a difficult task that scholars have faced so far using a variety of proxies, such as R&D investment and indicators based on patent publications. Another issue concerns how the knowledge created by countries, industries, firms, or other organizations diffuses and affects productivity of others, even when located far away from where the knowledge is originally produced. At the microeconomic level, the knowledge produced by large firms, SMEs and other public and private institutions is of course different and spreads in the production networks in different ways. Moreover, not every sector in the economy benefits of knowledge in the same way.

This study bridges these concepts and focuses on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector and on knowledge diffusion via platforms. The paper concentrates its attention to the diffusion of knowledge between different types of institutions, distinguishing not only between platforms, large firms, SMEs and universities. The study uses patent-based data and analyses a panel of worldwide firms that share the characteristic of having collaborated with platforms at least once in their life. The underlying idea is that connectedness between firms is essential to generate spillovers and it is therefore assumed that only those companies that collaborate with others can produce knowledge that can be exploited by others. The analysis considers the period 1990-2020 and includes a panel of 234 applicants, divided by type.

See the paper here.