, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 949–977 | Cite as

Evolution of knowledge creation and diffusion: the revisit of Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park

  • Mei-Chih HuEmail author


The Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan has been synonymous with dynamic and flourishing high-tech industries and companies since the 1980s. Using patent citation data, this empirical study shows that Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park is a healthy and knowledge-based cluster surrounded by the semiconductor sector, in which external knowledge is continuously playing an important role, while internalized capability is building up quickly; new and extended industrial clusters are being established by the growth of new ventures; and the linkages of capital, manpower, and technology flows are conducted respectively by the large business groups, the NTHU and NCTU, and the ITRI in the region. Subsequent sectors, repeating the successful model created by and catalyzed from the semiconductor sector are flourishing; the thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) and integrated circuit (IC) design sectors have been growing rapidly since the beginning of the 2000s, and the solar photovoltaic and LED (Light-Emitting Diode) sectors emerged quickly in mid-2005. The continuous evolving and growing industries along with the significant increase of value added in the Hsinchu Science Park have demonstrated it is acting as a healthy and vivid innovation region. The policy implications derived from this study can thus shed light, for the Southeast Asian, Latin American or other latecomers, on the strategies for formulating regional research and innovation policies in the process of developing a knowledge-based economy.


Region innovation system Knowledge flows Patent citation Taiwan Science Park 

JEL classification

R11 R58 


  1. Ahuja, G., & Lampert, C. M. (2001). Entrepreneurship in the large corporation: A longitudinal study of how established firms create breakthrough inventions. Strategic Management Journal, 22(6/7), 521–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almeida, P., & Kogut, B. (1999). Localization of knowledge and mobility of engineers in regional networks. Management Science, 45, 905–917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amsden, A. H., & Chu, W. W. (2003). Beyond late development: Taiwan’s upgrading policies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, J., & Markides, C. (2007). Strategic innovation at the base of pyramid. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(1), 83–88.Google Scholar
  5. Appleyard, M. M. (1996). How does knowledge flow? Inter-firm patterns in the semiconductor industry. Strategic Management Journal, 17 (winter special issue), 137–154.Google Scholar
  6. Becattini, G. (1979). Industrial sector and industrial district: tools for industrial analysis. European Planning Studies, 10, 483–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, C. J., Wu, H. L., & Lin, B. W. (2006). Evaluating the development of high-tech industries: Taiwan’s science park. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 73(4), 452–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coe, D. T., & Helpman, E. (1995). International R&D spillovers. European Economic Review, 39(5), 859–887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dodgson, M., Mathews, J., Kastelle, T., & Hu, M. C. (2008). The evolving nature of Taiwan’s National Innovation System: The case of biotechnology innovation networks. Research Policy, 37(3), 430–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Electrical Engineering Times. (2005). TSMC breakthroughs the limitation of energy consumption and speed by 90 nanometer Nexsys process technology. Article appeared in Chinese at: Access at June 29, 2010.
  11. Hsu, J. Y., & Saxenian, A. (2000). The limits of Guanxi capitalism: Transnational collaboration between Taiwan and the USA. Environment and Planning, 32, 1991–2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hu, M. C. (2008). Knowledge flows and innovation capability: patenting trajectory of Taiwan’s thin film transistor-liquid crystal display industry. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 75(9), 1423–1438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hu, M. C. (2009). Technological innovation capabilities of the thin film transistor-liquid crystal display industries in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Focus Asia Conference, 27–29 November, Lund University, Sweden.Google Scholar
  14. Hu, A. G. Z., & Jaffe, A. B. (2003). Patent citations and international knowledge flow: The case of Korea and Taiwan. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 21(6), 849–880.Google Scholar
  15. Hu, M. C., & Mathews, J. A. (2008). China’s innovative capacity. Research Policy, 37(9), 1465–1479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. IDC (International Data Corporation). (2009). Dynamic development of worldwide LCD panel industry. Presented by Hsu, A. on 14 May 2009.Google Scholar
  17. Jaffe, A. B., & Trajtenberg, M. (1999). International knowledge flows: Evidence from patent citations. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 8(1&2), 105–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jaffe, A. B., Trajtenberg, M., & Henderson, R. (1993). Geographic localization of knowledge spillovers as evidenced by patent citations. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 108(3), 577–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jang, S. L., Lo, S., & Chang, W. H. (2009). How do latecomers catch up with forerunners? Analysis of patents and patent citations in the field of flat panel display technologies. Scientometrics, 79(3), 563–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Keller, W. (2004). International technology diffusion. Journal of Economic Literature, 42(3), 752–782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Keller, W., & Pauly, L. W. (2003). Crisis and adaptation in Taiwan and South Korea: the political economy of semiconductors. In W. Keller & R. J. Samuels (Eds.), Crisis and innovaiton in Asian technology (pp. 137–159). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee, K., & Yoon, M. (2010). International, intra-national, and inter-firm knowledge diffusion and technological catch-up: the US, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan in the memory chip industry. Technology analysis and strategic management, 22(5), 553–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lundvall, B. A. (Ed.). (1988). Innovation as an interactive process: From user-producer interaction to the national system of innovation, Technical Change and Economic Theory. London, UK: Printer Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Malerba, F., & Mani, S. (Eds.). (2009). Sectoral systems of innovaiton and production in developing countries. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  25. Malmberg, A., Sölvell, Ő., & Zander, I. (1996). Spatial clustering, local accumulation of knowledge and firm competitiveness. Human Geography, 78(2), 85–97.Google Scholar
  26. Mathews, J. A. (2002). Competitive advantages of the latecomer firm: A resource-based account of industrial catch-up strategies. Asian Pacific Journal of Management, 19(4), 467–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mathews, J. A., & Hu, M. C. (2007). Enhancing the role of universities in building national innovative capacity in Asia: The case of Taiwan. World Development, 25, 245–264.Google Scholar
  28. Mathews, J. A., Hu, M. C., & Wu, C. Y. (2011). Fast-follower industrial dynamics: The case of Taiwan’s emergent solar photovoltaic industry. Industry and Innovation, 18(3), 177–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nekar, A. (2003). Old is gold? The value of temporal exploration in the creation of new knowledge. Management Science, 49(2), 211–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ramos-Vielba, I., Fernández-Esquinas, M., & Espinosa-de-los-Monteros, E. (2010). Measuring university–industry collaboration in a regional innovation system. Scientometrics, 84(3), 649–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Richardson, G.B. (2002). The organization of industry revisited. DRUID Working paper 02-15. Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics (DRUID), Demark.Google Scholar
  32. Saxenian, A. (2002). Silicon Valley’s new immigrant high-growth entrepreneurs. Economic Development Quarterly, 16(1), 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Saxenian, A., & Hsu, J. Y. (2001). The Silicon Valley-Hsinchu connection: Technical communities and industrial upgrading. Industrial and Corporate Change, 10(4), 893–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schmoch, U. (1993). Tracing the knowledge transfer from science to technology as reflected in patent indicators. Scientometrics, 26(1), 193–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Science and Technology Statistics. (2008). Taiwan’s S&T Statistics Report. Taipei, Taiwan: National Science Council.Google Scholar
  36. Seol, S. S., & Park, J. M. (2008). Knowledge sources of innovation studies in Korea: A citation analysis. Scientometrics, 75(1), 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shane, S. (2001). Technological opportunities and new firm creation. Management Science, 47(2), 205–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shin, J., Lee, W., & Park, Y. (2006). On the benchmarking method of patent-based knowledge flow structure: comparison of Korea and Taiwan with USA. Scientometrics, 69(3), 551–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Singh, J. (2008). Distributed R&D, cross-regional knowledge integration and quality of innovative output. Research Policy, 37(1), 77–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sorensona, O., Rivkin, J. W., & Fleming, L. (2006). Complexity, networks and knowledge flow. Research Policy, 35(7), 994–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Teece, D. (1986). Profiting from technological innovation: implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy. Research Policy, 15(6), 285–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tijssen, R. J. W. (2001). Global and domestic utilization of industrial relevant science: patent citation analysis of science–technology interactions and knowledge flows. Research Policy, 30(1), 35–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tsai, H. A. (2005). Knowledge spillovers and high-technology clustering: Evidence from Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park. Contemporary Economic Policy, 23(1), 116–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wong, C. Y., & Goh, K. L. (2010). Modeling the behaviour of science and technology: Self-propagating growth in the diffusion process. Scientometrics, 84(3), 669–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. World Bank (1993) The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  46. Yang, D. Y. R., Hsu, J. Y., & Ching, C. H. (2009). Revisiting the Silicon Island? The geographically varied ‘strategic coupling’ in the development of high-technology parks in Taiwan. Regional Studies, 43(3), 369–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yeung, Y. M., Lee, J., & Kee, G. (2009). China’s Special Economic Zones at 30. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 50(2), 222–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yusuf, S. (2008). Can clusters be made to order? In S. Yusuf, K. Nabeshima, & S. Yamashita (Eds.), Growing industrial clusters in Asia (pp. 1–38). Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zeng, M., & Williamson, P. J. (2007). Dragaons at your door: How Chinese cost innovations is disrupting global competition. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Tsing Hua UniversityInstitute of Technology ManagementHsinchuTaiwan

Personalised recommendations