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We give an overview of the evidence on their success and provide a set of policy recommendations to improve SEZs performance. But in the absence of sound institutions and adequate infrastructure, it is difficult for economic transformation to take place. An alternative is to facilitate existing industrial clusters or build industrial parks by creating an enabling environment in a limited place. This paper reviews the commonly used strategies to build effective clusters and industrial parks. Clusters and industrial parks are location specific. Because they have an informational advantage, local governments are in a better position than the central government to identify and solve the bottlenecks that affect clusters and industrial parks.

As clusters and industrial parks evolve, new bottlenecks emerge, thereby requiring new solutions. This in turns calls for continuous tinkering by local governments. The overall purpose is to test if firms that are more engaged in external interaction are more inno-vative. To disentangle innovativeness beyond new goods and services, innovation is measured as new processes, new markets, new suppliers, new ways of organization, and new distributors.

Academic articles on clusters - 44

Findings point to a positive relationship between firm innovation and external interaction, both in terms of collaboration, external knowledge and support from regional actors. In particular, collaboration regarding transports and sales is shown to enhance most types of innovation. Product and pro-cess innovation benefit from external knowledge from extra-regional firms as well as regional support from the largest firm.

Findings sug-gest that current innovation policies can improve their efficiency by increasing their flexibility to enable tailor-made innovation policies at the local level. Nicholds, J. Gibney, C. Mabey, D. Regional Studies, , , DOI: Regional Studies. Whilst the prevalence of these new organizational forms is well understood, the way that leadership agency is exercised i.

Implicitly, therefore, it presupposes a certain degree of completeness and variety in economic and innovation systems as is commonly assumed in international comparative analysis between nations — debatable as this suggestion may in itself be. Obviously, the actual innovation systems of European regions are often much more fragmented Capello and Kroll ; Isaksen ; Kroll ; Technopolis et al.

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At the same time, it borrows concept of exploration and discovery from the analysis of the world of business Hausman and Rodrik which cannot easily be transferred to the world of governance, leave alone government. While, possibly, it can most easily be read as promoting the public triggering of such processes where their absence constitutes an obstacle to economic development and their better guidance in others Landabaso ; , this ambition is neither an easy task in practice nor theoretically very well understood to start with.

Overall, there has been limited differentiation between processes that are merely discursive and those that amount to actual co-creation and joint discovery. Innovation policies for regional structural change: Combining actor-based and system-based strategies. New policy concepts such as smart specialisation emphasize the need to break with past practices and design and implement innovation strategies that boost regional structural change, i. This new strategic orientation for regional innovation policies has essentially been informed by evolutionary economic geography, which has offered novel insights into how regional economies transform over time and how new growth paths come into being.

Applying a regional innovation system RIS perspective, recent work has enhanced our understanding of how such processes of regional economic change vary across different types of regions.

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RIS differ enormously in their capacity to develop new growth paths due to pronounced differences in endogenous potentials and varying abilities to attract and absorb exogenous sources for new path development. The policy implications following from these recent findings on the uneven geography of new path development have hardly been thoroughly discussed so far. The aim of this paper is to identify opportunities and limitations of regional innovation policies to promote new path development in different types of RIS. Regarding path development, a distinction is drawn between the extenstion, modernization, importation, branching and creation of industrial paths, reflecting various degrees of radicalness of change in regional economies.

The paper offers a conceptual analysis of conditions and influences that enable and constrain new path development in each RIS type and outlines the contours of policy strategies that are suitable for promoting new path development in those different types of RIS.

Our point of departure is the well-known distinction between system-based and actor-based policy approaches.


The former aims to improve the functioning of the RIS by targeting system failures, promoting local and non-local knowledge flows and adapting the organisational and institutional set-up of the RIS. Actor-based strategies, in contrast, support entrepreneurs and innovation projects by firms and other stakeholders. We argue that both strategies will have only a limited impact on regional economic change when applied alone. However, if they are combined, they are well suited to promote new path development.

The paper discusses which specific combinations of system-based and actor-based policy strategies matter for different types of RIS. Strategic agency and institutional change: investigating the role of universities in regional innovation systems RISs. By: P. Benneworth, R. Pinheiro, J. As part of this, place-based leadership has emerged as a promising concept to restore both agency and territory to these discussions, but it remains under-theorized in key areas.

This paper contributes to these debates by arguing that there remains a reduction of agency to organizations, and that place-based leadership research needs to take into account organizational dynamics and interests in for bettering our understanding of the dynamics of place-based leadership in regional innovation systems.

What Makes Cities More Productive?

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Ahrend, E. Farchy, I. Kaplanis, A. The comparability of results in a multi-country setting is supported through the use of a new internationally-harmonised definition of cities based on economic linkages rather than administrative boundaries.

Innovation in clusters : understanding universities, special economic zones, and modeling

In line with the literature, the analysis confirms that city productivity increases with city size but finds that cities with fragmented governance structures tend to have lower levels of productivity. This effect is mitigated by the existence of a metropolitan governance body. In this paper, we provide new results on urban patenting covering more than twenty years of European patents invented by nearly one hundred thousand inventors located in France. Elaborating on the recent economic literatures on peer effects and on games in social networks, we assume that the productivity of an inventor's efforts is positively affected by the efforts of his or her partners and negatively by the number of these partners' connections.

In this framework, inventors' equilibrium outcomes are proportional to the square of their network centrality, which encompasses, as special cases, several well-known forms of centrality Degree, Katz-Bonacich, Page-Rank. Our empirical results show that urban inventors benefit from their collaboration network. In a business cluster, companies tackle similar problems, making them more inclined to share their knowledge. Physical proximity is also a enabling factor. Proximity engenders trust, which is not so easy to forge over video-conferences or occasional meetings.

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Collaboration on projects and regular meetings also lead to informal, personal relationships. Geilinger: Of course, nearly all firms possess knowledge that needs to remain confidential. Our study also showed that business clusters are more successful when product and research spheres are similar. Can you give some examples? Geilinger: Up to now, firms in the biotech and ICT clusters in the Canton of Zurich have learned more from each other than those in the cleantech cluster.

In the latter cluster, the products and objectives are more diverse: one company is developing a system to recover energy from waste while another is developing solar panels. There is little overlap in these two areas. In addition, the ICT cluster has the advantage of having grown organically over the years. A successful and dynamic business cluster needs time to develop. How did you arrive at your findings? Geilinger: We approached managing directors and executives from the three studied clusters in Canton of Zurich and carried out a total of 87 interviews.

We supplemented the interviews with a standardised survey and assessment of the literature. We wanted to get to the heart of the matter instead of analysing superficial, quantitative data. What did the study reveal with regard to the business clusters in Canton of Zurich? Geilinger: The exchange of ideas with universities is just as important for business clusters as is the exchange with mentors, private investors, customers and competitors. This exchange is a key advantage of the cluster eco-system in Canton of Zurich. And how do they compare on a global level?

The advantage of a domestic business cluster is companies and their employees often know each other very well, which eases the flow of information, thus speeding up the innovation process. Geilinger: In Canton of Zurich, universities and firms are also in close proximity, and the business clusters are well connected to the academic world. How can firms further harness the power of business clusters in terms of process and product innovation?

Geilinger: Public authorities can assume a greater role here. Important considerations include the establishment of more financing opportunities for start-ups, a shared brand identity for the cluster eco-system and more international conferences and trade fairs in Zurich. In addition, knowledge sharing and collaborations between universities and firms should be intensified further. Von Krogh: When top ICT companies such as Google set up offices around the world, smaller firms learn a lot from them in a short span of time. At the same time, these companies only tend to put down roots in places where there is already a significant knowledge-base.

Furthermore, large companies are suitable partners for small businesses. How will markets develop going forward?

Mark Lutter: The Importance of Special Economic Zones

Can product innovation advance yet further? Von Krogh: Each market has its own unique trends, and not all markets are open to more and more technological changes. This can be due to a lack of customer resources or because people are no longer inclined to invest in new concepts. Fundamentally, I expect that consumers in many sectors will change their habits, buying more products as a one-off and then share these products more often.

Cars are the prime example. Innovation through intensive knowledge-sharing between companies will be inevitable.