Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University
Cluster Evolution, Regional Innovation Systems and Knowledge Bases. The Development and Transformation of the ICT Cluster in Southern Sweden
() and Michaela Trippl
Abstract: This paper extends research on long-term cluster evolution
with a context sensitive conceptual framework that highlights how
configurations of regional innovation systems (RIS), their knowledge base
specificities and policy actions can shape cluster development and
transformation. By doing so, we redress the neglect of regional context
specific factors by current accounts of cluster life cycle models. The
empirical part of the paper deals with the evolution of the ICT cluster in
Scania, southern Sweden. The emergence of the cluster in the early 1980s
was enabled by a strong analytical and synthetic knowledge base in the
region, and the subsequent growth was driven by intense collaboration
between industry and academia. The changing geography of the ICT industry
in the past decade brought along new challenges for the existing companies
and led to a transformation of the cluster towards a new growth trajectory.
Cluster transformation was facilitated by policy actions that promoted
symbolic knowledge activities in the region. The strategy was to combine
existing competences in mobile communication with new competences in media
and design, and to develop new industrial activities around the theme of
New Media, which integrates analytical, synthetic and symbolic knowledge.
In the case of Scania, the endowment of the RIS of a variety of knowledge
bases and their combination has led to successful cluster development in
spite of challenges resulting from changing socio-economic conditions.
Keywords: Cluster evolution; knowledge bases; regional innovation systems; innovation policy; ICT; New Media; Sweden; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: B52; O33; O38; (follow links to similar papers)
18 pages, July 20, 2015
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