The Decomposition of Innovation in Europe and China’s Catch-Up in Wind Power Technology: The Role of KIBS

Stine Haakonsson, Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, Rasmus Lema*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Innovation is increasingly decentralized, traded and transferred internationally. Specialized suppliers of knowledge-intensive business services have emerged, enhancing the international transfer of knowledge and technology. This has important implications for the global geography of technological and innovative capabilities. This paper focuses on the role of European KIBS providers for the catch-up process in the Chinese wind turbine industry. Drawing on in-depth studies of three central technology domains in wind turbine research and development, it shows how the recent catch-up in the Chinese wind turbine industry was closely connected to organizational changes taking place in the incumbent wind turbine lead markets in Europe. The paper suggests that access to knowledge through KIBS can unlock rapid but bounded latecomer development in emerging markets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2174-2192
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 7 January 2020


  • Catch-up
  • Decomposition of innovation
  • Globalization
  • Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS)
  • Research and Development (R&D)
  • Wind turbines

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