About DIME

DIME (Dynamics of Institutions and Markets in Europe) is a network of social scientists in Europe, working on the economic and social consequences of increasing globalization and the rise of the knowledge economy. DIME is sponsored by the 6th Framework Programme of the European Union. The network brings together a wide variety of scholars, for example from economics, geography, sociology, history, political science and law.

DIME is a formal organization, of which academic research units (typically universities or other public research organizations) can become members. However, most of the activities in the network are open to scholars from outside the DIME membership list.

To see a list of upcoming DIME events including research conferences and workshops, click here.

A complete and formal description of DIME’s workprogramme, including research-related events, can be downloaded. A synopsis is also available.

You can explore DIME activities in the following areas:

Networking of researchers

Although the DIME network does not engage in sponsoring of actual research, one of it's major tasks is to bring together researchers from different part of the EU who are interested in the future of Europe in the global knowledge economy. In order to achieve this goal, DIME sponsors a variety of workshops, conferences and other platforms where researchers can present their work. This part of DIME's work programme is organized around three themes:

Dynamics of Individual and Organizational Knowledge in a Regional Context

Coordinator: Ed Steinmueller, SPRU

Modern processes of knowledge generation and exchange operate in the context of social networks with varying degrees of cohesiveness, openness, and efficiency. Many of these social networks are localised within specific regions where individuals can collectively achieve common cognitive understandings. At the same time, social networks that are engaged in the generation and exchange of knowledge become also more geographically extended with linkages across countries and continents. Understanding the opportunities and limits of such networks in membership, extent, and effectiveness by processes of modelling and experimentation is one objective of the first research action line in DIME.

A second theme here is the closer examination of "relational proximity" defining "communities of practice" for features that distinguish these networks from other social networks involved in knowledge generation and exchange. Third, the university as the progenitor of social networks involving knowledge is selected as an object of study. Fourth, the role of knowledge exchanged involving formal contracts and agreements and the specific role of the intellectual property system in fostering some activities and constraining others is examined.

Under this heading, specific parts of the DIME research related activities focus on:

  • Institutional Foundations of Knowledge Generation and Exchange : coordinated by Helena Lopes (DINAMIA) and Luigi Marengo (LEM).
  • Communities of Practice: Local, Virtual and Dispersed (coordinated by Ash Amin, Durham)
  • Universities: Spinoffs and Progenitors of Knowledge Exchange Networks (coordinated by Francesco Lissoni, Cespri)
  • The Influence of Rules, Norms and Standards on Knowledge Exchange (coordinated by Birgitte Andersen, Birkbeck)

The Creation, Accumulation and Exchange of Knowledge in Networks, Sectors and Regions

Coordinator: Franco Malerba, Cespri

DIME's second research action line helps to better understand how firms embedded in formal and informal institutional frames at the local, territorial, sectoral or national level may innovate.

  1. First, it focuses on the role networks play in problems related to knowledge creation, accumulation and exchange.
  2. Second, it looks at the influence of knowledge-based entrepreneurship on the dynamics of industries, territorial clusters and regions.
  3. Third, it addresses activities of knowledge creation and diffusion within sectoral systems.
  4. Fourth and finally, it brings together different approaches for analyzing the mechanisms through which knowledge and information are distributed and aggregated in the emergence and growth of markets.

Under this heading, specific parts of the DIME research related activities focus on:

  • Networks and Knowledge Creation, Accumulation and exchange (coordinated by Robin Cowan, Merit and Peter Maskell, DRUID)
  • Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship in the Evolution of Industries and Territorial Clusters (coordinated by Luigi Orsenigo, Cespri)
  • The Structure, Geography and Dynamics of Sectoral Systems of Innovation and Production (coordinated by Franco Malerba, Cespri)
  • The Emergence and Growth of Markets (coordinated by Stan Metcalfe, CRIC)

Dynamics of Knowledge Accumulation, Regional Cohesion and Economic Policies: a Micro-to-Macro Approach

Coordinators: Giovanni Dosi, LEM-St'Anna & Bart Verspagen, Ecis, Eindhoven

DIME's third research action line tries to answer the fundamental question of how interactions at the micro and meso level will feed into the macro-relationship between knowledge and the development of the European Union in the global economy.

  1. The first fundamental issue addressed is European competitiveness and the factors affecting the competitiveness of European regions, sectors and countries, both from a qualitative and quantitative way.
  2. The second issue is explicitly related to regional cohesion, addressing the effectiveness of European policy instruments, i.e. the Structural Funds.
  3. Third and finally, DIME will investigate the issues of technology policy and (more traditional) macroeconomic policies, following a micro-to-macro or bottom-up approach to modelling these dynamics.

Under this heading, specific parts of the DIME research related activities focus on:

  • Knowledge, International Specialisation and the Competitiveness of Europe (coordinated by Bart Verspagen, Ecis)
  • Policies to Promote Economic and Social Cohesion and the Shift towards the Knowledge Economy (coordinated by Iain Begg, LSE)
  • Macroeconomic Policy and the Dynamics of Innovation and Technology (coordinated by Nick von Tunzelmann, SPRU)

Training of PhD and Masters students

DIME Structural Activity Line: Integrating and Developing Training Activities Associated with DIME
coordinator: Patrick Llerena, Beta

Training is critical for a network like DIME, because it is the best way to develop specific research capabilities in a field that is both complex and interdisciplinary. It is also an essential mechanism for raising awareness of both academics and stakeholders to the issues raised by a dynamic and institutional approach to economic and social questions. Finally, it is the best tool for furthering gender equality by encouraging female students.

In it's current phase, DIME is most active in training at the PhD student level. The network contributes financially and in terms of content (teachers and students from the DIME institutions) to the following activities:

DIME is also busy developing other training activities. This includes integrating Masters programmes at the DIME member institutes, extending its PhD training activities by shorter courses and training sessions, and experimenting with distance learning. More news will be available here when new activities unfold.

Dissemination of network results to policy makers and the general public

Structural Activity Line 3: Disseminating to and Interacting with Stakeholders
Coordinator: Phil Cooke (Cardiff)

An important dimension of the activities of DIME is the exchange of knowledge and practices between the scientific communities of the network and the societal stakeholders in the field that DIME studies. These stakeholders are of an extraordinary diversity and one of the challenges is to work with these stakeholders and to benefit not only from their experiences but also from their diversity. DIME targets three types of stakeholders:

For each of the three types of stakeholders, DIME has specific activities aimed at dissemination: