Evolutionary economic geographers propose that regional diversification is a path-dependent process whereby industries grow out of pre-existing industrial structures through technologically related localised knowledge spillovers and learning. This article examines whether this also applies to emerging radical technologies that create the foundation for new industries. The article develops a new measure for technological relatedness between the knowledge base of a region and that of a radical technology based on patent classes. It demonstrates that emerging fuel cell technology develops where the regional knowledge base is technologically related to that of fuel cells and consequently confirms the evolutionary thesis.
- Evolutionary economic geography
- Recombinant innovation
- Regional branching
- Technological relatedness
- Fuel cell technology