Theoretical, Empirical and Political Perspectives on the Initial Stage of Cluster Evolution
Edited by Dirk Fornahl, Sebastian Henn and Max-Peter Menzel
Chapter 11: The Emergence and Development of the Cambridge Ink Jet Printing Industry
Elizabeth Garnsey, Erik Stam and Brychan Thomas 1 INTRODUCTION Recent cluster studies have moved from a predominantly static approach to a more dynamic analysis of the emergence and development of clusters (Braunerhjelm and Feldman 2006; Menzel and Fornahl 2007). The activities of firms that make up a high-tech cluster are distinctive and it is only by understanding the processes through which constituent firms and clusters develop and mature that we can gain understanding of collective trends. We define a cluster as a local concentration of firms that have horizontal (ecological) and/or vertical (genealogical) relations. In this chapter we focus on the ink jet printing (IJP) industry in the Cambridge (UK) area to explore the nature of maturation of a local knowledge-based (hightech) cluster. The Cambridge region is well known as a high-tech centre (Garnsey and Heffernan 2005), made up of diverse clusters of mainly small knowledge-based firms. What makes IJP distinctive in the area is that it has no direct university lineage, involves advanced product-engineering, and has achieved international market reach by anticipating and responding to global demand, resulting in several relatively large firms. The local IJP industry more than doubled in size during the 1990s, while the overall local IT hardware sector hardly expanded in this period. We organise our theme in terms of genealogical and ecological issues. That is, we examine the lineage of firms with reference to their technologies, spin-out activity and location near Cambridge. We address ecological issues with reference to production chains, competition and new...
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