Do existing regional specialisations stimulate or hinder diversification into cleantech?

Martijn van den Berge (Corresponding author), Anet Weterings, Floor Alkemade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Using data on patent applications, this paper provides systematic evidence of how the existing regional knowledge base, and in particular specialisation in fossil fuel technologies, affected both initial and subsequent regional diversification into cleantech knowledge production in European regions between 1987 and 2010. Results confirmed the assumption in evolutionary economic geography that technological relatedness enhances regional diversification into cleantech. Contrary to what is often assumed in the transitions literature, no indication whatsoever was found that a specialization in fossil fuel technologies hampered cleantech knowledge production in European regions. Some clean technologies even partly developed out of fossil fuel knowledge. These empirical results suggest the need for a more heterogeneous socio-technical regime concept which facilitates new technology developments in some dimensions but hinders it in others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-201
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Cleantech
  • Regional diversification
  • Sustainability transition
  • Technological relatedness


Dive into the research topics of 'Do existing regional specialisations stimulate or hinder diversification into cleantech?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this