52nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions in Motion - Breaking the Path", 21-25 August 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia
We analyse the determinants of network formation in German's biotechnology sector combining elements from social network analysis (SNA) and a regression framework for count data. For the latter we adopt a regional innovation system perspective, we estimate the number of total and interregional R&D collaborations of local biotech actors in the year 2005 as a function of region's innovation and economic context as well as a set of policy related variables. The inclusion of policy instruments in the regression approach allows us to answer the question to what extent R&D-based cluster policies such as the well-known BioRegio contest (BRC) shape the formation of the German biotech network. We use the region's degree centrality, a standard measure in SNA, as outcome variable. Our results show that policy indicators such as the volume of public funding for collaborative R&D are positively correlated with the region's total and interregional number of R&D cooperations. However, besides this direct funding effect no further advantages such as image effects etc. are found. Regarding the role of factors defining the regional innovation system, we observe that the number of biotech patent applications, the share of regional hightech start-ups and the population density are positively linked to the region's degree centrality.