51st Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "New Challenges for European Regions and Urban Areas in a Globalised World", 30 August - 3 September 2011, Barcelona, Spain
Interactions between firms, universities, and research organizations are crucial for successful innovation in the modern knowledge-based economy. Systems of such interactions constitute R&D networks. R&D networks may be meaningful segmented using recent methods for identifying communities, subnetworks whose members are more tightly linked to one another than to other members of the network. In this paper, we identify such communities in the European R&D network using data on joint research projects funded by the fifth European Framework Programme. We characterize the identified communities according to their thematic orientation and spatial structure. By means of a Poisson spatial interaction model, we estimate the impact of various separation factors - such as geographical distance - on the variation of cross-region collaboration activities in a given community. The European coverage is achieved by using data on 255 NUTS-2 regions of the 25 pre-2007 EU member-states, as well as Norway and Switzerland. The results demonstrate that European R&D networks are not homogeneous, instead showing relevant community substructures with distinct thematic and spatial properties.