Michaela Trippl and Franz Tödtling
Alexander Auer and Franz Tödtling
Cluster policies are considered increasingly important for supporting the development of clusters. However, not all clusters have the same preconditions and needs for policy initiatives to stimulate their performance and development. In this chapter it is argued that the role of cluster policies differs between sectors and regions depending on particular framework conditions and development factors that might also change over time. On the firm-level, the role of cluster policies seems to be even more diverse since particular firm needs and problems vary according to the companies’ main activities, age and size. Concepts on cluster policy and cluster life cycles have disregarded such a differentiated role of cluster policies and its effects on cluster firms so far. We investigate the environmental technology cluster in Upper Austria and the new media cluster in Vienna from this perspective. Both clusters differ with regard to the role of cluster policies. While in the former policy has a stronger role and policy actors have tried to actively support funding and network initiatives, the latter seemed to be less dependent on policy activities and more shaped by related industry developments.
Franz Tödtling and Alexander Auer
Innovation is a highly interdependent process nowadays where firms rely on distributed knowledge sources at various spatial scales. It has been argued that innovation interactions are shifting increasingly from local and regional towards global scales, and that the region as a space for supporting innovation and competitiveness of firms is losing in importance. We suggest, however, that firms and clusters rely on various kinds of knowledge bases and factors for their performance that differ in geographical mobility and territorial boundedness. Whereas codified knowledge, particular goods and services, investment capital, and people have become mobile at a global scale, due to modern transport- and communication technologies and lower trade barriers, we find other factors that are still territorially bound. These are e.g. tacit knowledge that is exchanged in local and social networks, as well as institutions and regulations that are confined to territories. We argue, furthermore, that industries differ in this regard and investigate to what extent driving factors for cluster development and innovation have become non-local or foot-lose, or remain territorially bound in specific types of industries. This has relevance for regional and innovation policies that try to enhance the competitiveness of clusters and regional economies.
Franz Tödtling and Michaela Trippl
The chapter provides a review and discussion of recent conceptual and empirical contributions on the nature and geography of firms’ knowledge acquisition activities. The authors offer a systematic conceptual view of the pattern of knowledge sourcing, bringing into focus and combining the notions of industrial knowledge bases (sectoral contexts), which are supposed to vary considerably with respect to the transferability of their key knowledge types, and regional innovation systems (regional contexts), which are supposed to differ substantially in terms of the availability of knowledge sources. The empirical part of the chapter draws on cases from Austria, Finland, Germany and Sweden and provides an analysis and comparison of knowledge-sourcing activities in analytical, synthetic and symbolic industrial sectors in metropolitan, specialized industrial and peripheral regional contexts.
Alexander Kaufmann and Franz Tödtling
Franz Tödtling, Christoph Höglinger and Markus Grillitsch
Franz Tödtling, Arne Isaksen and Michaela Trippl
The post-war period has been characterized by a strong growth of economic interdependencies at a global level. Regional economies and their industrial clusters were challenged to maintain or regain their competitiveness in the new global economy. Some regions – particularly core areas – have undergone successful innovation-based transformation, while many old industrialized and peripheral regions have lost competitiveness, employment and parts of their economic base. In this contribution we deal with conceptual approaches to globalization challenges of regions and clusters, focusing on types of regions, clusters and modes of innovation. We also provide examples of clusters located in different geographical contexts and investigate how they cope with innovation challenges and place-specific innovation barriers.