The role of clusters in smart specialisation strategies
European Commission 2013
This report investigates the potential contribution of clusters and cluster policies in the design and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies. Both cluster policies and Smart Specialisation Strategies are policy approaches with a place-based dimension, aiming at exploiting advantages of proximity to promote economic growth and competitiveness. With regions across Europe currently working on their Smart Specialisation Strategies, the question whether and how clusters and cluster policies can be used in this endeavour is highly relevant. Smart Specialisation Strategies are difficult to design and implement because they are based on a new and complex academic framework that now has to be translated into policy practice. The contention of this report is that lessons learnt from the rich history of cluster policies can provide concrete inputs into the development of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).
The report investigates this contention both from conceptual and practical perspectives:
- It identifies the commonalities and differences between the two concepts as they are defined and discussed in the various strands of literature. This helps disentangle the key elements for which cluster policy experience can be used to inform and support Smart Specialisation Strategies, but also highlights the limits of this potential contribution;
- It looks at policy practice. It discusses the way Smart Specialisation Strategies are applied so far and the challenges that lie ahead, enlightens the main features of cluster policies and draws the lessons learned from their application. On this basis, it identifies six areas where cluster policies have the potential to contribute to Smart Specialisation Strategies.
- The key message is that clusters and cluster policies are for many regions likely to be among the key building blocks in developing and implementing S3. Main contributions are expected for the tasks of defining priority domains and engaging stakeholders, but other contributions are possible too. The full potential of clusters and cluster policies will be reached if:
- The Smart Specialisation Strategies integrate cluster policies into a broader transformation agenda for the entire regional economy, and complement cluster policies with other cross-cutting and technology/knowledge-domain-specific activities;
- The cluster-based analysis and the type of cluster policies implemented in S3s move beyond the current cluster policy practice, i.e. they are adapted to the regional environment, to the level of maturity of the cluster, and they comply with a list of good practices rules, including the capacity to address emerging new domains cutting across sectors.
Aproximaciones microeconómicas en la Teoría de los Lugares Centrales de Christaller
Luis Guillermo Becerra Valbuena (2013)
En el presente documento se hace una revisión de los planteamientos más importantes de la Teoría de los Lugares Centrales (TLC) formulada por Walter Christaller, así como una exploración de los diferentes intentos de modelación que se han hecho de esta teoría en la economía espacial. Posteriormente, se muestra un modelo de teoría de juegos con el cual se logran recoger ciertos aspectos de la TLC como la configuración hexagonal del espacio por el cual compiten las firmas, además del hecho de que las firmas o lugares centrales se terminan repartiendo el mercado en formas iguales. Igualmente, se estudia el comportamiento de los consumidores que buscan minimizar sus costos de transporte y obtener un menor precio, lo que lleva a que se dirijan a los lugares centrales más cercanos, que les ofrecen un menor precio compuesto (precio+costo de transporte). El modelo muestra la existencia de un equilibrio de Nash simétrico en donde, a pesar de que un lugar central está rodeado de 6 firmas o lugares centrales, compite contra ellas uno a uno por un área específica de mercado en un espacio isotrópico. Tal competencia oligopólica está ligada a la configuración hexagonal que postulaba Christaller. En otras palabras, la configuración hexagonal de Christaller es coherente con un equilibrio de Nash simétrico.
What attracts high performance factories? Management culture and regional advantage
Peter Doeringer, Christine Evans-Klock, David Terkla (2012)
National data and case studies are used to test the importance of management practices, particularly high performance practices, on the location decisions of new manufacturing plants. We find that plants with high performance management cultures rely on different criteria when making their location decisions, and also weigh standard location criteria differently, than those plants that are managed in more traditional ways. Omitting management culture from studies of business location may, therefore, result in biased estimates of the importance of various traditional location factors. By more accurately specifying location models for manufacturing plants with high performance management cultures, we are able to offer new insights for regional development policy.
Do clusters generate greater innovation and growth? An analysis of European Regions
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Fabrice Comptour, 2011
The analysis of clusters has attracted considerable interest over the last few decades. The articulation of clusters into complex networks and systems of innovation — generally known as regional innovation systems — has, in particular, been associated with the delivery of greater innovation and growth. However, despite the growing economic and policy relevance of clusters, little systematic research has been conducted into their association with other factors promoting innovation and economic growth. This article addresses this issue by looking at the relationship between innovation and economic growth in 152 regions of Europe during the period between 1995 and 2006. Using an econometric model with a static and a dynamic dimension, the results of the analysis highlight that: a) regional growth through innovation in Europe is fundamentally connected to the presence of an adequate socioeconomic environment and, in particular, to the existence of a well-trained and educated pool of workers; b) the presence of clusters matters for regional growth, but only in combination with a good ‘social filter’, and this association wanes in time; c) more traditional R&D variables have a weak initial connection to economic development, but this connection increases over time and, is, once again, contingent on the existence of adequate socioeconomic conditions.
Innovation clusters in Europe: A statistical analysis and overview of current policy support
DG Enterprise and Industry Report, 2007
The present ENTR report analyses on the basis of the best available data the presence of clusters in Europe and their role as drivers of innovation and economic growth. In this respect policy support to clusters is an integral part of the Growth and Jobs strategy; it describes national and regional approaches in support of clusters and identifies the main challenges still to be addressed to exploit their full potential; and it presents the main Community instruments that are currently used in support of cluster policies of the Member States and regions.
This ENTR report takes into account the views of a High Level Advisory Board on clusters that has been recently established, bringing together expertise on clusters and cluster policy development from public authorities, firms, regional organisations and industrial associations and drawing from recent international work in this field. This document is of a strictly analytical nature and does not express any views or commitments of the Commission on any future development of new or existing instruments. Its main purpose is to provide background to the European Cluster Memorandum, which is currently being prepared under the auspices of the European Cluster Alliance with the view to create synergies between regional, national and European efforts in support of clusters.
This ENTR report presents the first statistical findings on the location of clusters in Europe. This work, performed under the recently established European Cluster Observatory, is based on employment data and uses an internationally and widely accepted methodology. As the analysis is only based on the co-location of industrial activity and employment, it does not provide a full picture and needs to be supplemented by other work that will highlight the knowledge components of clusters. An assessment of regional knowledge specialisation profiles is currently underway to fill this information gap. Nevertheless, the current findings offer a good first insight about the location of clusters in Europe and represent a basis for further analysis and improvement.
La ciudad postfordista: economía cultural y recualificación urbana
Fernando Díaz Orueta y María Luisa Lourés Seoane (2003)
En las grandes ciudades el impulso dado a diversas intervenciones urbanas ligadas al desarrollo de la economía cultural, ha transformado profundamente su estructura socio-territorial. A pesar de que desde un punto de vista físico estas actuaciones pueden presentar similitudes notables en unas y otras ciudades, sin embargo el análisis específico de sus consecuencias sociales y espaciales da cuenta de resultados finales muy diferentes. En el artículo se revisa la evolución reciente de Buenos Aires, ciudad crecientemente fragmentada, donde las grandes inversiones urbanas se han dirigido a actuaciones que no afrontan su grave crisis social.