The geography of knowledge sources in the Czech outdoor equipment industry :key role of global temporary clusters and of national informal networks
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In contrast to the swiftly expanding set of studies devoted to the knowledge sources for high-tech industries in highly developed regions, the aim of this paper is to provide insights into the geography of knowledge sources of low-tech industry in the European semi-periphery. Czech outdoor equipment producing firms are primarily SMEs, often based on a tradition of homemade manufacturing from the period of state socialism. Nevertheless, some of them now compete on a global market. Qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews with the company owners/managers was applied. The results show a significant role of global temporary clusters for enhancing competitiveness of low-tech firms competing in mature markets. In the case of Czech outdoor equipment industry, the “global buzz” at international trade fairs is accompanied by the informal networks of relationships stemming from the climbers’ community in times of state socialism.