International R&D cooperation between low-tech SMEs: the role of cultural and geographical proximity

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Aurora Teixeira
Paulo Santos
Ana Oliveira Brochado
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Although there is a considerable amount of empirical evidence on inter-firm collaborations within technology-based industries, there are only a few works focussing on R&D cooperation by low-tech firms, especially SMEs. Providing further and new evidence based on a recently built database of CRAFT projects, this study analyzes the relationship between technology and proximity in international R&D networks using HOMALS and statistical cluster techniques. The resulting typology of international cooperative R&D projects highlights that successful international cooperative R&D projects are both culturally/geographically closer and distant. Moreover, and quite interestingly, geographically distant projects are technologically more advanced whereas those located near each other are essentially low-tech. Such evidence is likely to reflect the tacit-codified knowledge debate boosted recently by the ICT ?revolution? emphasized by the prophets of the ?Death of Distance? and the ?End of Geography?.