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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.

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Observations from the case studies

All case study companies have originated in eastern Finland. At least from this point of view, they appear to be rooted in the region. In addition, their connection with the region has generally been strengthened by the development of their operational environment, that is, their location in the eastern part of Finland and the specific benefit that the companies could gain from their location in this specific region. According to the interviews, the most salient benefit or advantages are the availability and low turnover of a competent work force as well as favourable conditions for research, development and innovation activity. The climatic and natural conditions also play a role; they are seen as demanding but stable. In addition, the socio-economic conditions in Finland in general are seen as a clear benefit.

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