AnM.5: Network Analysis

AnM.5: Network Analysis

FenRIAM includes an analysis of the existing science and technology network related to an RI and assesses the effect of the RI itself on this network. Technically, FenRIAM defines nodes as organisations and ties as connections between nodes, and uses graph theory to visualise the network. The results of the analyses allow describing qualitatively the changes in the network, which are induced by the existence of an RI.

Network theory, and in particular social network theory is a vast field of study focused on analysing the size and structure of the network as well as the intensity of interaction between actors. The idea is that these factors affect the activity outcome of the network actors. Network analysis permits to identify the existing science and technology organisations linked to an RI, the structure of the networks and the way in which knowledge and know-how flows between agents (universities, RIs, firms etc...)


  • Identify all actors that are part of the network
  • Prepare the electronic survey based on the FenRIAM template
  • Send it, and if no answer, send a follow up after a month
  • Export the collected data to a spreadsheet
  • Import and treat the information with the UCINET application or an equivalent network analysis tool
  • Describe the results qualitatively

Data sources:

  • Document research to identify all the actors involved in the network
  • Electronic survey of the actors and their network-related activities

The analysis proposed in FenRIAM is part of a subgroup of network theory called social network analysis.
“A social network analysis (SNA) is a technique for visualizing, describing and analyzing a system of relations.” (Barbieri et al. 2010)

Software available at:

Barbieri G.A., Conti C., and Gabrielli D., Territorial distribution and networks of immigrants in Italy, OECD working party on territorial indicators, Paris 2010