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.
Franz Tödtling and Michaela Trippl
Michaela Trippl and Franz Tödtling
Alexander Kaufmann 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, 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.