Industrial clusters are known globally for the power of their local connections. Yet, external
openness and connections to global knowledge and innovation networks are also relevant for
industrial clusters to avoid phenomena of entropic death and negative lock-in and to allow local
competencies to be nurtured by knowledge flows from non-local sources. This chapter aims to provide
an overview on three strands of scholarly research that have contributed to understanding different
dimensions of a cluster’s openness to global networks and its impacts on innovation. The chapter
discusses international development studies on global value chains, international business (and
connected international and development economics) research on technological spillovers of
multinational enterprises and, finally, geography of innovation perspectives and work in economic
geography on technological gatekeepers in industrial clusters. The chapter concludes by integrating
these three strands of literature and proposing an agenda for future research.
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