Generation and Diffusion of Innovations in a District Innovation System: The Case of Ink-Jet Printing

Yolanda Reig-Otero, Mónica Edwards-Schachter, Carlos Feliú-Mingarro, Ignacio Fernández-de-Lucio


This paper provides an in-depth case study of the ink-jet printing (IJP) technology that emerged from the ceramic industry in a Spanish region (Castellon) in the first decade of 2000. We propose an analytical framework that combines the theoretical perspectives of Industrial Districts and Innovation Systems, and exploit a qualitative methodology that includes information from patent and scientific article databases and 21 in-depth interviews. Our results show that IJP is a major innovation that breaks with the tradition of machinery innovations in this industry in Spain. Micro-level evidences show the complex external and internal relationships in the sharing of knowledge and innovation process, being the role of internal ties, trust, secrecy and strong in-house R&D strategies determinants of the IJP innovation.


innovation process, innovation system, industrial district, learning region, ceramic tile industry, ink-jet printing

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