New research on what works in technology cluster groups

  • July 4, 2011
New research on what works in technology cluster groups

Gates alumnus Franz Huber publishes research on personal networks and business success.

For researchers in technology clusters, a shared language matters more than being physically close to peers, according to a new study by a Gates alumnus.

Franz Huber’s study, published in the Regional Studies journal, focuses on research and development workers in the Cambridge information technology cluster.

It found that about two thirds of the most important contacts the researchers have are globally distributed and based outside Cambridge.

They are either friends or people who are working on similar technological problems to them.

However, the research showed that being physically close to other research and development workers enables them to share a more diverse range of knowledge than is available to researchers who are working remotely. This can be beneficial for coming up with new ideas and innovations.

Nevertheless, Huber concludes that sharing the same technical jargon is critical for effective communication. He says: “This implies that research and development management and policy needs to be sensitive towards a shared language as a pre-condition for personal knowledge relationships. This can mean investing time in establishing a shared language.”

He adds: “Networking initiatives in R&D management and cluster/innovation policy need to be potentially global in scope, because personal contacts outside of the Cluster can be important. Yet, the scope of local networking initiatives within Cambridge might be greatest for linking people who are different in terms of their knowledge, but still manage to establish a shared language through regular face-to-face contacts.”

Huber’s research builds on his PhD in Geography at Cambridge which focused on the role of personal networks on knowledge flows and regional economic development. He investigated how personal networks affect innovative firms and regional economic development.

His new research is linked to his ESRC-funded Research Fellowship at the Open University Business School. Huber [2006] is examining knowledge transactions between the UK motorsport and the UK cleantech industries.

Picture credit: jscreationzs and www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

Latest News

A leading woman in STEAM

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been selected as one of the 75 leading women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics in India. Yama Dixit will feature in the second edition of the book She Is, published by the Red Dot Foundation in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India to mark 75 […]

Tackling the obesity epidemic in Africa

When she left school, Paula-Peace James-Okoro [2022] intended to become a medical doctor, but after starting a degree in Biochemistry she discovered a passion for the subject and for using it to address one of the major health challenges facing Africa – obesity. She says: “In Africa, the rates of metabolic diseases, like obesity and […]

Triple win for Bill Gates Sr. Prize

For the first time three Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing this year’s Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Kim van Daalen, Reetika Subramanian and Cynthia Okoye have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late […]

Gates Cambridge Annual Report published

The Gates Cambridge Trust’s Annual Report 2021 is now available. It includes a summary of the Trust’s work during the year and the impact of our scholars and alumni in Cambridge and across the world. You can also read about our 20th anniversary celebrations, the many activities of our scholars and alumni, our impact in […]