Rypestøl, J.O., Martin, R., & Kyllingstad, N.
The article is titled: New Regional Industrial Path Development and Innovation Networks in Times of Economic Crises.
Under consideration for publication by Industry and Innovation
In the burgeoning debate on new regional industrial path development in economic geography, little attention has been paid to investigate how exogenous shocks affect innovation, knowledge networks, and new path development in regions. This paper aims to bridge this gap. Conceptually, we take a regional innovation systems perspective which views new path development as the outcome of innovation and knowledge exchange between firms and other actors, facilitated by a common institutional milieu. Empirically, we draw on interviews and network data from firms in the oil and gas industry in southern Norway. Following a long period of prosperity, the industry was hit by the oil price shock in 2014 and entered an economic crisis. The firm data was collected at two points in time, namely before and during the crisis. The findings suggest that the oil price shock triggered the firms to commit even more forcefully to innovation and to expand their knowledge networks beyond the region. To cope with the crisis, they applied a variety of strategies, which can be associated with different forms of path development. Based on these findings, we draw conclusions for further research on new path development and for regional innovation policy in the context of exogenous shocks and crises.