How S&T connectivity supports innovation-driven development: An analysis of China's cooperation networks in high and new technology fields
As China developed towards an innovation-driven economy, both domestic and international connectivity have come to play a central role in regional development. Furthermore, earlier research has shown that the structure of inter-provincial S&T networks has developed substantially. However, differentiated analyses on the effects of S&T connectivity on regional development have remained rare and robust inferences on the exact role of particular aspects consequently difficult. Based on co-publication and co-patent data this paper analyses the role of S&T connectivity as a determinant of provincial-level innovation-driven development in China. Unambiguously, it confirms the essential role of S&T connectivity proposed by earlier literature. At the same time, it finds that this role only develops in full after initial investments in the local environment and never exceeds that of S&T inputs. Furthermore, it finds that international technological collaboration has become more, not less important drivers of development for regions as China's innovative capacities increased.