Urban Patterns of Growth

The Geography of Suppliers of High-Tech Companies in the Nordic Countries

image of Urban Patterns of Growth

Urban Patterns of Growth was carried out for the preparation of the Nordic regional policy co-operation programme 2013-2016 and national regional policies in the Nordic countries. A key issue is the concentration of economic growth in the largest cities. This is favored by urbanization economies but also by the forming of specialized international networks of innovation and production established far beyond regional and national borders. Much research has focused upon these new global networks, leaving behind the question of the national spreading effects of the production that has not been outsourced. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to elucidate, via case studies, the extent to which the purchases of supplies and services from knowledge firms are located in proximity of the company or whether these purchases have spread to the remaining part of the country.



Background and policy context

Inter-firm collaboration and networks have been investigated quite widely in Finland, but these studies do not typically consider the networks from a geographical point of view. The most common approaches focus on clusters and the competitiveness of companies, as well as innovation activity and regional innovation systems. In addition, the network structures of companies located in different types of localities have acquired attention in the Finnish research literature in this field of study. Table 6.1 presents observations from six empirical studies that report empirical evidence from Finland. Two of these studies focus on high technology industries or KIBS services (Jauhiainen and Suorsa 2008, Smedlund and Toivonen 2007). Although the other ones (Varis and Littunen 2012; Ala-Rämi and Suorsa 2012, Kautonen 2006, Virkkala 2007) deal with a broader group of enterprises, their findings are relevant for the URAGO’s approach due to the fact that they investigate innovation activities. To our knowledge, research with a specific focus on fast growing high and medium-technology companies and their geographical dimensions has so far been non-existent in Finland.


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