PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (5): 600-609.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.05.007

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress of glocal innovation networks

Yuefang SI1,2(), Gang ZENG1,2,*(), Xianzhong CAO1,2, Yiwen ZHU1,2   

  1. 1. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban & Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Accepted:2015-10-01 Online:2016-05-27 Published:2016-05-27
  • Contact: Gang ZENG;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41401128, No.41371147;Humanity and Social Science Foundation of Ministry of Education, China, No.14YJC790098;China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No.137596


Against the background of economic globalization and technological development, innovation network has been a heated topic in the field of economic geography research. However, the scale of research of innovation network remains debatable. Among the global, nation, and local scales, which one is important? The concept of “glocalization” provides a new perspective to this research. Glocalization refers to the twin process whereby, firstly, institutional arrangements shift from the national scale both upwards to the global scale and downwards to local configurations and, secondly, economic activities and inter firm networks are becoming simultaneously more localized/ regionalized and transnational. Based on solid theoretical reviews, this article defines the concept of glocal innovation network and then discusses the main issues and research methods of glocal innovation networks. In this article, glocal innovation network is defined as the sum of knowledge network channels of various innovators, for example, firms, universities, and research institutes, which increasingly connect globally scattered innovation resources together. Local innovation networks, which are the sub-networks of global innovation networks, are connected by trans-local knowledge flows. Glocal innovation networks are organized by the negotiation among industrial associations and technology alliances and their members. Network knowledge measurement is the suitable method to analyze the structure, evolution, and mechanism of glocal innovation network. The concept of glocal innovation networks provides a new perspective to analyze the approaches of local/regional innovation capabilities promotion and economic development by utilizing global and local knowledge. We conclude that existing research remains at the stage of conceptual discussion and case studies. Therefore, the following issues should be further studied: (1) glocal innovation network evolution dynamics and its connection with economic development; (2) comparative study of glocal networks of different industries and technologies; (3) characteristics of Chinese glocal innovation networks, which can provide empirical evidence of latecomer regions in the catching-up process for further theoretical discussion.

Key words: glocalization, innovation network, network knowledge, innovation geography, research progress