Cases and Policies
Handbooks of Research on Clusters series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson
Chapter 1: Introduction
Charlie Karlsson This handbook presents a comprehensive overview of research on economic clusters, which will be of interest to scholars doing research on clusters and clustering as well practitioners involved in cluster formation and cluster management. In the development of this book, leading writers on clusters from many countries have been attracted. The result is a thorough overview of clustering in high-tech industries, cluster case studies, and cluster policies presented in this handbook. A parallel overview of economic cluster research in terms of agglomeration and cluster theory, methods for analysing clusters, clustering in diﬀerent spatial contexts, and clustering in service industries is presented in a parallel handbook, the Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory, edited by Charlie Karlsson and published by Edward Elgar. The studies cover the developed economies in Europe and North America. 1.1 High-tech clusters A huge interest has in recent decades been devoted to the phenomena of high-tech clusters among scientists, politicians and planners, as well as in media. These clusters that also are described as innovative, knowledge-intensive and the rest contain one or several industries that are R&D-intensive, have a high share of university trained employees and so on. In this section, we comment upon two aspects of high-tech clustering. Firstly, we discuss the general conditions that seem favourable for high-tech clustering to take place. Secondly, we discuss some of the process involved in high-tech clustering. Clustering is a localized phenomenon mainly taking place within the borders of functional urban regions. A functional (urban)...