The internationalization of innovation in the food industry is becoming increasingly oriented towards emerging markets. Innovative lead firms express a need for ‘tapping into knowledge’ by collaborating with research facilities, customers and suppliers in these new locations. European firms experience a push towards market expansion and knowledge generation directed at emerging markets. This results in new network constructs: global innovation networks. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it identifies and outlines the determining factors behind the internationalization of innovation due to the need to access new markets and knowledge. This unfolds through strategies of exploitation and exploration. Second, it investigates the extent to which these strategies connect to position in the value chain and factors in the host economy. In this, the potential impact at the receiving end of the offshore equation is also addressed. Through an analysis of the Danish food industry, the paper concludes that the internationalization of innovation is an emergent phenomenon predominantly associated with exploration strategies. As much as exploitation may neither rely on nor develop local technological capabilities, exploration seeks and engages with local capabilities in the host economy.
- Food industry
- Internationalization of innovation
- Global innovation networks
- Knowledge-seeking strategies