GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (9): 1653-1666.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201709005

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The innovation network characteristics of innovation-loose industry and its impact on innovation performance: An empirical analysis on the logistics industry of the Yangtze River Economic Belt

Zefeng MI(), Gang ZENG()   

  1. Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, School of City and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2017-03-02 Revised:2017-07-20 Online:2017-09-15 Published:2017-12-12

Abstract:

Innovation plays an important role in the development of China. Previously, the research of industries with strong innovation ability has attracted much more attention from academic researchers. Nevertheless, those industries with weak innovation ability are also important to the development of national economy, and there is a significant difference in the innovation network characteristics of innovation-loose industries and innovation-intensive industries. Therefore, this paper aims to study the innovation network forms of innovation-loose industries, and its influence on network performance. And the logistics industry is taken as a typical representative of innovation-loose industries in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. With the help of some quantitative graphics analysis software such as Stata, Gephi, and ArcGIS, we describe the collaborative innovation network of logistics industry in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and discuss its impact of innovation networks on innovation performance based on and negative binomial regression models using co-invented patent data of logistics industry issued by the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. from 1985 to 2013. Compared to the equipment manufacturing industry, in addition, it sums up difference of innovation networks between innovation-loose industries and innovation-intensive industries. The results show that: (1) In terms of spatial distribution, the "Z"-shaped region which is composed of "Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo" has become the innovation center of logistics industry in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. And there is a close cooperative relation of innovation network between the region and the cities of Wuhan, Beijing, Shenzhen and Taipei. (2) Cooperation innovation network of logistics industry has a core-periphery structure which takes colleges and universities as the center of the network. While there are major network problems of over-embeddedness and missing-structural holes position function, which internally result from fragmentation caused in logistics industry innovation and strong enterprises-weak universities' relations. Hence, it is necessary to enhance innovation ability of colleges and universities, create a new relationship between strong enterprises and strong universities, and construct innovation union and platform to make enterprises play a leading role in the core network. Moreover, we need to be aware that universities with high innovation ability will attract enterprises to participate in cooperation, which will promote the healthy development of the logistics industry innovation network in the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

Key words: Yangtze River Economic Belt, innovation-loose industries, logistics industry, cooperative innovation network, over-embeddedness