We are involved in a number of research projects. For sumary descriptions, please see below:

Global innovation networks, regional variety and its impact on the innovativeness of firms and regions: a comparative perspective of Sweden, China and India (2014-2018) The object of the project is to understand how and explain why firms in industries dominated by different knowledge bases use global innovation networks (GINs). We know that the extent to which firms and industries becomes more localised or globalised is highly contingent on its knowledge base. Firms in industries dominated by synthetic or symbolic knowledge bases tend to exchange knowledge with geographically close partners while firms in industries dominated by analytical knowledge bases more often tap into geographically distant sources of knowledge. While the importance of local-global linkages varies significantly across knowledge bases, the evidence also suggests that there are global linkages in all three industries. Understanding what kind of knowledge is acquired using global innovation networks and which one is acquired with local networks in industries dominated by different knowledge bases is one of the main objectives of this project. The project thus focuses on the interplay between knowledge bases, types of knowledge required in the innovation process and global innovation networks.

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Project partners

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The challenge of globalization: Technology driven foreign direct investment (TFDI) and its implications for the negotiation of International (bi and multilateral) Investment Agreements(2011-2014) In the past, the discussion on international investment regimes has always begun with an institutional and organizational template — that of the GATT — and adjusting it to the needs of investment. Furthermore, it has considered almost exclusively traditional forms of foreign direct investments (FDI) linked to the exploitation of advantages rather than on its acquisition. The later is the main driver of tech-based FDI (TFDI). This approach has systematically led to a failure of negotiations. A preferable approach is to first identify the key characteristics of TFDI as well as those institutional aspects that require concerted international action before placing them within an organizational framework. This is the approach chosen in this project. The project involves partners from Europe and Asia with an extensive network in Latin America (Brazil) and Africa (South Africa) to analyze the determinants of TFDI in order to inform policy makers negotiating international investment agreements.

Project Partners


Supporting the development of Innovative Clusters in South Africa (2008-2012) is a research project funded jointly by VR and SIDA through their Research Links Program. The aim of this project is to improve policy options to support innovation based upgrading in different clusters in South-Africa, considering the specific industry dynamics of learning, knowledge generation and innovation at meso level. This study is gathering and analyzing data on 3 distinct industry types (automotive, IT and music) in the region of Gauteng in South Africa. The data is collected following the same questionnaire and interview guide as in the VR project Emerging Trends in Asia, so as to facilitate the comparison with China and India.


INGINEUS (Impact of Networks, Globalisation, and their INteraction with EU Strategies, 2009-2011) was a research project funded by the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission. It started in January 2009. The project addressed the impact of globalisation and the rapid growth of selected emerging economies in the world on the competitiveness and strategies of European Union firms, industries and regions. It focused particularly on the evolution of global production networks (GPNs) into global innovation networks (GINs) and the impact that this new process of global capitalism had on knowledge intensive activities in the EU. INGINEUS was coordinated by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and brought together researchers from 14 institutions located in Europe (Italy, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Sweden, Norway and United Kingdom) and in some of the most important emerging economies in the world (Brazil, China, India, and South Africa). Cristina Chaminade at CIRCLE was member of the Steering Committee of Ingineus, coordinator of the sub-projects on regional innovation systems and coordinator of the ICT industry.

Project Partners


Emerging trends in Asia: from low-cost producers to innovators (2007-2009) was a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) that started in January 2007. The main objective of this project was to understand the extent and scope of the globalization of innovation activities and discuss its implications for developed and developing countries. The three industries targeted with the study were the software industry, the automotive industry and the biofuels/agroprocessing in two regions: Pune in India and Beijing in China. Information has been collected by means of a survey to 600 firms in Pune and another 600 firms in Beijing, followed by in-depth interviews in a selection of firms in all three industries and two countries. The project was conducted in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad (India) and the Graduate University at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing (China). The questionnaire used in the project can be downloaded from HERE. If you plan to use it in a research project similar to ours, we kindly ask you to inform us. We would be happy to share our experience with the data gathering and analysis, discuss the results or even extend the research to other regions around the world.


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