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Advanced Technologies for Industry

Industrial and technology clusters and cluster-based policies in times of Covid-19

The way technology is produced and diffused across different countries and regions tends to be uneven. Economic geography largely determines the probability of knowledge spillovers and hence is key in shaping the potential for technology development and uptake, but also industrial transformation. Geographical proximity is believed to facilitate unplanned interactions that are critical parts of the innovation process. 

This flow relies upon the willingness of firms to inform others about their knowledge, which depends upon the trust established between actors. Clusters play an important role in industrial transformations as they can renew business models and reconfigure industrial value chains. Within the fabric of interlinked industrial ecosystems, technology clusters are integral to industrial competitiveness and economic performance. They hold a large share of a well educated workforce engaged in technological fields. Technology clusters pursue leading-edge innovation, and many companies seek insights on emerging possibilities through access to tacit or codified knowledge. Also due to the above-mentioned reasons, cluster based industrial development has been traditionally in the centre of implementing European, national and regional growth strategies. Cluster policies often concern various technological domains and technology-based sectors. The geography of innovation has been, however, challenged by the current pandemic. The acceleration in technology adoption brought by the pandemic is likely to increase the importance of technology clusters even more. 

In this context, the objective of this analysis has been to initiate a reflection on questions such as: 

• How has the geography of technological innovation and diffusion been affected during the Covid-19 pandemic?
• What is the role of clusters and cluster-based industrial development policies in fostering technology-based resilience?
• How to adapt cluster-based policies and nurture linkages both locally and internationally?

Policy brief Technology Clusters.pdf
(5.59 MB - PDF)
Leaflet Industrial and technology clusters and cluster-based policies.pdf
(585.38 KB - PDF)