Authors:Michel Zitt, Suzy Ramanana-Rahary, Elise Bassecoulard, and Françoise Laville
This article depicts some features of the geography of science and technology outputs in the EU, with a particular attention
to regional “co-location” of these two pillars of the “knowledge-based society”. Economists have, for a decade, paid great
attention to local “spillovers” stating that industrial firms often draw advantages from the presence of nearby academic centres.
The presence in the same areas of strong academic and technological resources is both a condition and a result of science-technology
interactions. Concentrating on publications and patents as proxies of the science and technology level in regions, we built
a typology of regions according to their commitment to the two knowledge-base activities and then analysed the co-locations
of science and technology from several points of view. A fine-grain lattice, mainly based on standard Nuts3 level, was used.
Co-location, at the EU level, is not a general rule. A strong potential for spillover/ interaction does exist in the top-class
regions which concentrate a high proportion of European S and T output. But for regions with a small/medium level of S&T activity,
a divergence of orientations appears between a science-oriented family and a technology-oriented family, indicating an imbalance
between local S and T resources. If we look at the S-oriented regions, whilst controlling for underlying factors, such as
population and regional economic product, a significant geographic linkage between T and S appears. This suggests a trajectory
of science-based technological development. A careful examination of S&T thematic alignments and specialisation is necessary
to develop the hypothesis that fostering academic resources could increase the technological power along a growth path.