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Markus Grillitsch

Senior Lecturer

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When drivers of clusters shift scale from local towards global : What remains for regional innovation policy?

Author

  • Markus Grillitsch
  • Josephine V. Rekers
  • Franz Tödtling

Summary, in English

Industries and regional economies evolve as a result of the interplay between local and non-local factors. Increasing globalization of both production- and innovation activities implies a shift in the relevant scales of interaction from the local towards the global level. This paper is concerned with the implications of such scale shifts for the role of the region and for cluster-related regional policies. It examines what is left of the role of regional settings in fostering economic development when extra-regional drivers of change increase in importance. We investigate this crucial question with two in-depth case studies of the medical technologies sector, in which such scale shifts have been particularly pronounced. Our findings from empirical material collected in Scania/Sweden and Vienna/Austria illustrate the ways in which changes in national and supra-national regulatory frameworks have had a profound impact on the innovation activities of individual firms and the way to develop and launch new products, and subsequently on the regions in which they cluster. Such scale-shifts have, on the one hand, limited the potential for regional policy to shape the cluster's path through support for supply-side factors. Yet some critical assets remain local but are increasingly difficult to access. By addressing such barriers to access, regional policy can still strongly affect the opportunities for innovation. Furthermore, in an increasingly open industry system, we see an expanded role for regional policy in supporting firms to access critical assets and sources of innovation found external to the region.

Department/s

  • Department of Human Geography
  • CIRCLE

Publishing year

2019

Language

English

Pages

57-68

Publication/Series

Geoforum

Volume

102

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Elsevier

Topic

  • Economic Geography

Keywords

  • Cluster policy
  • Globalization
  • Innovation policy
  • Life science
  • Regional development policy
  • Scale shift

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0016-7185