Knowledge brokers have emerged as a new type of actors shaping scientific production, influencing science–policy relationships, and thereby contributing to regional competitiveness. Yet, the spatial dimension of these knowledge brokers has received little attention. Using Framework Programme participations in European cities, we analyse and discuss the location strategy of knowledge brokers, highlighting the importance of co-location with the funding source. Our findings show that knowledge brokers are clustered in Brussels, and not elsewhere, to be closer to the European Commission in order to access strategic, informal and tacit information, while contributing to the construction of transnational R&D networks. While this ‘local buzz’ has positive side effects on the regional innovation system of Brussels; knowledge brokers emerge as a new type of spatially clustered actors shaping the distribution of EU funding for ‘European knowledge pipelines’.
With André Spithoven, published in Environment and Planning A.