Kiese: National Styles of Cluster Promotion


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Kiese: National Styles of Cluster Promotion

  1. 1. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regionssee following pageburg, London, Paris and Munich. But the actual structur-ing of the globally valid flexibilisation requirements hap-pens in Berlin – place matters! – in a specifically Berlinstyle. Their habitual practice is constituted in the City ofBerlin in accordance with its own rules, processes andnarratives that correspond with the contradiction, hetero-geneity and improvisation that are the bedrock of thiscity’s identity. (English editing: Blossom Stefani) ::ReferencesLange, B. 2007 Die Räume der Kreativszenen. Culturepreneurs und ihre Orte in Berlin (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag).Senate Administration for the Economy 2008 Kulturwirtschaft in Berlin – Entwick- lungen und Potenziale (2. Kulturwirtschaftsbericht). Senate Administration for the Economy 2008 (Berlin).Wellmann, I. 2009 Schnittstellenkulturen – Hybride Akteure, Patchworkökonomien, intermediäre Institutionen in Lange, B./Kalandides, A./Stöber, B./Wellmann, I. Governance der Kreativwirtschaft. Diagnosen und Handlungsoptionen (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag). 37
  2. 2. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business RegionsNational Styles of Cluster PromotionCluster policies between variety and convergenceDr Matthias Kiese, Research Associate, Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography, Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany Now that almost two decades have passed since the (OECD 1996) and the dearth of budgets making clusterspublication of Porter’s (1990) enquiry into ‘The Competi- an attractive means of focussing public funds. A growingtive Advantage of Nations’, the cluster concept has appar- concern with technological capabilities was joined by aently not lost its appeal to academics, policymakers and mounting dissatisfaction with traditional technology poli-practitioners thinking about the promotion of innovative cies based on linear models of innovation. As a result, thecapabilities and economic growth. interactive and systemic character of technological change is now commonly acknowledged, as is the assumption Defined by Porter himself (1998: 197 f.) as “geographic that despite globalisation, placebound ‘sticky’ assets suchconcentrations of interconnected companies, specialised as the exchange of implicit knowledge assume even moresuppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, importance for the competitiveness of firms. In policy andand associated institutions (for example, universities, practice, the cluster approach is often employed to developstandards agencies, and trade associations) in particular so-called triple helix relations between universities, indus-fields that compete but also cooperate,” clusters are wide- try and government (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff 2000).ly regarded as a panacea for national, regional and localcompetitiveness. Diffusion channels for cluster know-how Further to these common challenges, research high- Business-led versus government-led initiatives lights a variety of channels available for the diffusion of With the ongoing popularity of cluster promotion, it is policies across space and time. Knowledge of and aboutoften overlooked that the most shining cases of successful cluster promotion may diffuse through literature, eitherspatial concentrations of industry emerged and grew with- academic, best practice case studies, or the growing sup-out explicit government intention. Of over 800 clusters ply of manuals for cluster development distilled from theidentified world-wide in the Harvard Business School’s former. Such know-how is also disseminated by special-Cluster Meta Study, only one emerged through a public ised consultants acting as transfer agents (Stone 2004),initiative, while the emergence of a further 40 was influ- and by the mobility of practitioners between regions andenced by public action such as wars and expulsions (van countries. Practitioners may also use cluster conferencesder Linde 2005: 28). Therefore, it is now widely accepted like those held annually by The Competitiveness Institutethat governments can only create favourable conditions to link into international communities of practice thatfor the emergence of clusters and facilitate their growth might lead to knowledge flows in more informal networksand restructuring once they have emerged. Cluster poli- later on (Brown & Duguid 1991). Finally, politicians andcies can be defined as “efforts of government to develop practitioners may travel abroad to study cases of clusterand support clusters in a particular region” (Hospers & promotion perceived as best-practice, or invite their peersBeugelsdijk 2002: 382). Their degree of public agency to give presentations. Within the German-speaking area,sets them apart from business-led cluster initiatives in for instance, politicians and practitioners tend to refer towhich cluster firms assume centre stage, while govern- Upper Austria as a source of inspiration, and as an occa-ment and/or the research community only play a support- sional destination for policy tourism.ive role (cf. Sölvell et al. 2003: 31). In the European context, the Commission plays a cen- tral role in disseminating best practice and promoting Knowledge economy – from technology policy to policy-learning across borders. This aim is generally pur- triple helix relations sued through the open method of co-ordination and the The global spread of the cluster concept in policy and principle of yardstick competition. As for cluster policy,practice can be explained by a set of common challenges the Commission focuses on mapping, the identificationfaced by countries and regions at all stages of develop- and dissemination of best practice, the provision of plat-ment. First and foremost, globalisation exposes nations forms for know-how exchange between policy-makersand regions to intensified locational competition, which and practitioners, as well as on cross-border networkingin turn accelerates structural change and promotes the of clusters. Under the Commission’s Europe INNOVAcompetitiveness of such territories to a new paradigm for Initiative, the installation of a High Level Advisoryeconomic development (cf. Siebert 2005, Martin et al. Group on Clusters led to the European Cluster Memoran-2006). Further challenges include the transition of ad- dum as a common agenda for cluster policy action signedvanced industrial countries into knowledge economies in January 2008. 38
  3. 3. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regions Central or federal – path-dependent learning –––––––– Country Case Studies: Germany –––––––– Despite these significant forces of convergence, struc-tural and institutional differences between nations and re- To prevent any return to centralism after World War II,gions mean that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all Germany was founded as a federal republic in 1949. As acluster policy. Furthermore, cumulative and path-depend- consequence, all 16 federal states pursue autonomousent learning by doing in policy and practice contribute to cluster policies today, but for brevity’s sake this paper canpersisting variety not only in the interpretation and appli- only focus on the federal level. Associated with the co-or-cation of the cluster concept, but also in the rationales and dinated nature of its market economy, Germany’s systemtargets of cluster polices. Cluster policies emerge at the of innovation is focused on incremental innovation andinterfaces of hitherto isolated policies, especially science diffusion, but has comparative weaknesses in radical andand technology policy, industrial policy, and regional breakthrough innovations, such as biotechnology (cf.policy which converge into regionalised innovation poli- Casper 2007). German policymakers praise the country’scy. A first source of international variety is thus the policy research excellence, but lament that German inventionsarea which embraces the cluster notion first and most such as the MP3 standard are often commercialisedforcefully, and how well these formerly separate policies abroad. Clusters are hence seen as vehicles to bridge theare integrated. Further institutional variety may be expected perceived gap between science and industry to acceleratefrom the role of the state, and a country’s centralised vs. innovation. However, a too consequent spatial concentra-federal set-up. tion of public resources is at odds with Germany’s tradi- The role attributed to the public vis-à-vis the private tionally redistributive regional policy, given that spatialsector is prominently captured by the concept of varieties equity is a constitutional goal. Unification in 1990 sud-of capitalism that places market economies on a spectrum denly increased spatial disparities in productivity and in-reaching from liberal on the one hand to co-ordinated on novative capabilities. Technological and socio-economicthe other (Hall & Soskice 2001). While the United States convergence of the new Länder towards the West Germanare commonly regarded as the archetypal liberal market level is a special priority of federal government since, andeconomy, this model is best represented by the United a regionalised innovation policy including the promotionKingdom (UK) within the EU. Co-ordinated market econ- of cluster structures in the new Länder is one way ofomies are epitomised by continental European countries pursuing this France or Germany. The degree of centralisation vs. Federal government started to embrace the clusterfederalism is the third major source of variety since cluster concept with the BioRegio contest in 1995, an attempt topromotion is a typical case of multi-level governance, as jump-start Germany’s embryonic biotech industry. Policyit is pursued at all administrative levels from the suprana- lessons learnt from BioRegio were adapted to promotetional via nations and regions all the way down to the eco- innovative capabilities in the new Länder with the Inno-nomic development efforts of cities and municipalities Regio initiative in 1999 and the subsequent Entrepreneurial(cf. Bovaird et al. 2008, Burfitt & MacNeill 2008, Conzel- Regions family of programmes. The federal government’smann & Smith 2008). Varieties of capitalism and federal- cluster policy received its most recent impetus with theism are thus expected to directly translate into distinct leading-edge cluster competition in 2007, which is part ofstyles of cluster promotion that would ultimately determine a broader High-Tech Strategy for Germany.the scope for cross-country policy learning. To illustrate this variety, three countries have been se- The BioRegio contestlected as case-studies for cluster promotion at the national Germany’s federal government got hooked on thelevel. From a varieties of capitalism perspective, the UK cluster notion in the mid-1990s when trying to promoteis an obvious choice as it comes closest to the liberal ver- its fledgling biotechnology industry which was estimatedsion of a market economy, while Germany and France are to lag twenty years behind the U.S. and ten years behindthe two largest economies of the ‘old’ continental Europe. the UK at that time (Cooke 2001: 267). The experienceOn the centralism-federalism axis, Germany was purpose- of those countries suggested that clusters like San Diego,fully founded as a federal republic, while the UK and Boston or the English Cambridge were important sourcesFrance have all embarked on varying decentralisation of national competitiveness in biotech. To close this gap,efforts, but their centralist past is still far from a distant federal government decided to leverage on the competi-memory. tive potential of federalism. In 1995, the BioRegio contest 39
  4. 4. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regionswas launched to identify and promote Germany’s most were selected by an independent jury, and 23 ultimatelypromising potential biotech clusters (cf. Dohse 2007). qualified for funding. Convinced by the success of Inno-17 regions entered the contest, and in November 1996, Regio, the federal ministry differentiated the initial con-Munich, the Rhineland and the Rhine-Neckar area cept into a whole new family of programmes called Entre-emerged as winners, with a special vote awarded to Jena preneurial Regions (Unternehmen Region) to supportin the new federal state of Thuringia. The three winners innovative networks in the new Länder.received around 25 million € each over five years, pluspreferential access to R&D funding from the federal Bio- The Spitzencluster competitiontechnology 2000 programme. In September 2006, Germany’s federal government for the first time announced an inter-ministerial high-tech- However, it is worth pointing out that not only these strategy (BMBF 2006). Of 14.6 billion € earmarked forwinners benefitted from the competition. The contest mo- 2006–2009, 11.94 billion € are designated for a set of 17bilised actors in most other regions, too, with the effect industries and technologies, while the remaining 2.66that by the mid-2000s, there were 25 regional networks billion € are reserved for generic measures of innovationand cluster initiatives and five state-level associations in policy. Of the latter, 600 million € are earmarked forcharge of regional biotech promotion (BMBF 2005: 5). measures to join the forces of science and industry, ofSome of them received support from subsequent pro- which the leading-edge cluster competition (Spitzencluster-grammes like BioFuture, BioChance and BioProfile wettbewerb) is the key thrust. The aim is to promote up to(Dohse 2007: 77 f.), but it remains questionable if the 15 already well-developed clusters irrespective of technol-almost ubiquitous promotion of biotech networks is the ogy or industry in three rounds over a period of five years.most efficient way of growing internationally competitive Essentially, this means an extension of the BioRegio con-clusters. However, the BioRegio contest is now regarded cept beyond the narrow confines of the industry. Conse-as an important vehicle to jumpstart the biotech industry quently, the aims are the same: to identify and strategicallyin Germany which scored spectacular growth in the sec- promote clusters to achieve leading positions in interna-ond half of the 1990s, although this was helped by legis- tional competition, to accelerate the commercialisation oflative changes, a favourable business cycle and ample new knowledge, to stabilise and create growth and employ-supply of venture capital. Following the burst of the New ment, and to make Germany a more attractive businessEconomy bubble in 2000/2001, the industry consolidated location. Following the first call for applications in Augustat around 400 companies with about 10,000 employees 2007, 38 regional projects applied by the closing date in(Ernst & Young 2008). December. A dozen of those projects qualified for the final, before the winners of the first round were disclosed in The InnoRegio contest September 2008: In the mid-1990s, the initial convergence of the newLänder vis-à-vis West Germany had come to a halt, and • Cool Silicon – Energy Efficiency Innovations fromsignificant disparities in innovative capabilities and eco- Silicon Saxonynomic wealth threatened to become very persistent. The • Solarvalley Mitteldeutschlandfederal Ministry of Education and Research thus adapted • Aviation Cluster in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburgits acclaimed BioRegio model to the specific needs of the • Forum Organic Electronics in the Rhine-Neckarnew Länder: While BioRegio strove for the mobilisation Metropolitan Regionof regional assets for the benefit of national competitive- • Biotech-cluster “cell-based and molecular medicine”ness, the InnoRegio contest was designed to narrow the in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan between the eastern and the western states. In contrastto BioRegio, the new contest was not only confined to the These five winners qualify for a total funding of up tonew Länder, but also open to all industries and technolo- 200 million € over a five-year period. While the first twogies. In 1999, the initial call triggered 444 applications winners are from the new Länder, the bottom project wasfrom diverse consortia of individuals and organisations filed by one of the BioRegio winners, regional networksuch as businesses, research, education, politics, public BioRN. Soon after the first round of selection was com-administration and associations at the sub-state level pleted, the call for the second round was issued in January(Dohse 2007: 75 f.). Out of these applications, 25 projects 2009, with the application period closing in April. 40
  5. 5. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regions Contest 0 100 km Cartography: Stephan Pohl BioRegio (1996) InnoRegio (1999) BioProfile (2001) Kiel Spitzencluster (2008) Schleswig- Rostock 18 Holstein Greifswald 11 Metropolregion Mecklenburg- Hamburg Wismar 22 Western Pomerania Aviation Schwerin Hamburg Parchim 17 Lower Bremen Brandenburg Saxony Braunschweig / Göttingen / Hennigsdorf 12 Hannover Gardelegen 9 Buch 2 Funktionelle Genomanalyse Hannover Potsdam Berlin Braun- Barleben 1 18 Wildau 21 schweig Magdeburg 13, 14 Potsdam / Berlin Gatersleben 10 Genomforschung & Pflanzenbiologie North Rhine- Saxony- Westphalia Göttingen Anhalt Dresden Düsseldorf Solar Valley Mitteldeutschland Cool Silicon Energy BioRiver Saxony Efficiency Erfurt 5 6 Innovations Köln 7 Jena Ohrdruf 16 Freiberg 8 Dresden Aachen Bonn Zwickau Chemnitz Schmalkalden 20 BioInstrumente Jena 3, 4 23 Hesse Thuringia Markneukirchen 15 Rhineland- Wiesbaden Palatinate Mainz BioRegion Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar Rhein- - Forum Organic Electronics Neckar- Dreieck - Bio RN Cell-based & Molecular Medicine Saarland Ludwigshafen Mannheim Saarbrücken Heidelberg Bavaria 11 Diabetes Informations- und Service-Center DISCO1 MAHREG Innovationsnetzwerk Stuttgart Esslingen 12 RIO - Regionales AUTOMOTIVE Tübingen Reutlingen Innovationsbündnis Oberhavel2 Gesundheitsregion Berlin-Buch 13 Innovationspotential Börde Region Stuttgart /3 Innosachs Innovationsregion (REPHYNA) Mittelsachsen Neckar- Neckar-Alb 14 INNOMED Innovative4 INNTex Textilregion Alb Bioregion STERN Medizintechnologien Mittelsachsen Regenerations- München 15 Musicon-Valley5 BioMeT - Innovationsnetzwerk Baden- biologie 16 Barrierefreie Modellregion für Dresden Württemberg BioRegio Integrativen Tourismus6 KONUS - Kooperative Nutzung München 17 NUKLEUS - Netzwerk von Datennetzen Präzisionsmaschinenbau7 Bautronic 18 BioHyTec8 RIST: Mit neuen Netzen zur 19 Maritime Allianz Wissensregion 20 inprosys9 NinA Naturstoff- 21 FIRM Innovationsnetzwerk Altmark 22 Kunststoffzentrum10 InnoPlanta Westmecklenburg Pflanzenbiotechnologie 23 IAW 2010 - Industrie- und Nordharz/Börde Automobilregion Westsachsen The winners of Federal Government cluster contests in Germany, 1996–2008 41
  6. 6. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regions 0 100 200 km global clusters Boulogne-sur-Mer 66 Arques 62 Lille 19 / 17, 24, 54 national clusters Le Havre 61 Rouen 23 Laon 18 Lannion 15 Caen 37 Mondeville 13 Brest 30 Paris Metz 50 6, 14, 34, 48 / 4, 39 Rennes 38, 42 Chartres 8 Strasbourg 3 Orléans 10 Epinal 45 Nantes 12, 41, 59 Angers 55 Cholet 65 Mulhouse 56 Tours 701 Aerospace Valley Dijon 58, 67 Besançon 492 Agrimip Innovation3 Alsace Biovalley4 Astech Paris Région Poitiers 635 Axelera6 Cap Digital Paris Région Limoges 11, 29 Oyonnax 287 Capénergies8 Cosmetic Valley Chappes 449 Derbi Annecy 4010 Elastopôle Clermont-Ferrand 6011 Elopsys Lyon 5, 21 / 16, 20, 3512 EMC213 Filière équine Bordeaux 32, 47, 68 Saint-Étienne 57, 7114 Finance innovation Grenoble 22, 3615 Images et réseaux16 Imaginove17 Industries du commerce18 Industries et agro-ressources Pont-Saint-Esprit 5319 i-Trans Vocation20 Lyon Urban Truck&Bus Avignon 51 Sophia Antipolis-21 Lyonbiopôle Toulouse St-Paul-lez-22 Minalogic 2, 43 / 1 Durance 7 Rousset 3323 MOV‘EO24 Nutrition Santé Longévité Montpellier 69 Marseille Aix-en- Grasse 6425 Optitec Provence 4626 Orpheme 25, 26, 27 Perpignan 9 Toulon 31 French Guiana Guadeloupe Reunion St-Denis 52 0 200 km 0 50 km 0 50 km Source: DGE/DIACT, quoted in Longhi 2008, p. 33 Cartography: Stephan Pohl27 Pégase 42 Automobile haut de gamme 57 Viaméca28 Plastipolis 43 Cancer-Bio-Santé 58 Vitagora29 Pôle européen de la céramique 44 Céréales Vallée 59 Génie civil Ouest30 Pôle Mer Bretagne 45 Fibres Grand‘Est 60 InnoViandes31 Pôle Mer PACA 46 Gestion des risques 61 Logistique Seine Normandie (Nov@log)32 Route des lasers 47 Industries et pin maritime du futur 62 Matériaux à usage domestique (MAUD)33 Solutions communicantes sécurisées (SCS) 48 Medicen Paris Région 63 Mobilité et transports avancés34 System@tic Paris Région 49 Microtechniques 64 Parfums, arômes, senteurs, saveurs (PASS)35 Techtera 50 Matériaux innovants produits intelligents (MIPI) 65 Pôle Enfant36 Tenerrdis 51 Pôle européen d‘innovation fruits et légumes 66 Pôle filière produits aquatiques37 Transactions électroniques sécurisées (TES) 52 Qualitropic 67 Pôle Nucléaire Bourgogne38 Valorial 53 Trimatec 68 Prod‘Innov39 Ville et mobilité durables 54 Up-Tex 69 Q@LI-MEDéditerranée40 Arve Industries 55 Végépolys 70 Sciences et systèmes de l’énergie électrique (S2E2)41 Atlantic Biotherapies 56 Véhicule du futur 71 Sporaltec France’s Pôles de Compétitivité, 2008 42
  7. 7. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regions Policy learning – yet conflicting aims The Systèmes Productifs Locaux Federal innovation policy in Germany has firmly em- The Systèmes Productifs Locaux (SPL) programmebraced the notion that national competitiveness depends was launched as part of French regional policy in 1998 toon localised assets. To unleash the hitherto underutilised promote clusters of small and medium-sized enterprisespotential of competitive federalism, the federal govern- (SMEs) in low-technology sectors and in peripheral areasment employs contests as a device for discovery and mo- (OECD 2007). Such industrial districts were required tobilisation, and shows signs of cumulative policy learning exhibit a concentration of activities in a specific industry,when differentiating initial concepts like BioRegio and a high level of inter-firm linkages, supporting infrastruc-InnoRegio into entire programme families. Owing to the ture and operators qualified to stimulate interaction. Outpower of the Länder in Germany’s federal set-up, federal of 180 business plans submitted by co-ordination bodies,government acts as a facilitator by organising competi- 96 were initially selected, with two more specific calls totions and selecting regions, but does not intervene in state follow in 2001 and 2003, respectively. A typical SPL con-policies, nor is it actively involved in programme man- sists of around 100 SMEs, of which between 30 and 40agement which is left to the federal states or to independ- actually participate in collaborative projects. Co-operationent agencies. However, it may be criticised that the pre- with a university or research institute is encouraged butvailing approach promotes intraregional networks at the no funding requirement. Central government funds up toexpense of interregional and international networking, 3.6 million € per SPL for collective management expensesand that the InnoRegio family to promote innovation net- to engage local actors, but SPL receive most of their fund-works in the new Länder is intrinsically trapped between ing from other sources. Many of them are networked inthe conflicting aims of growth and competitiveness on the the Club des Districts Industriels Français (CDIF), a vol-one hand, and spatial equity on the other. untary association of French industrial districts.––––––––– Country Case Studies: France ––––––––– The Genopole programme Akin to Germany’s BioRegio initiative, the French In sharp contrast to Germany’s federal system and poly- government embarked on its Genopole programme incentric spatial structure, France has a long history of cen- 1999 to spur the commercialisation of life sciences. Thetralism and dominance of its capital region Île de France. support of innovation networks was expected to boostThis is still evident today despite the decentralisation France’s competitive position in life sciences through scien-thrust initiated in 1982. While industrial policy tradition- tific advances and improved science-industry relationshipsally promoted large firms as national champions, technol- (Quéré 2008). Following a call for applications in 1999,ogy policy used to follow the linear model of innovation eight Genopoles were selected in 2000, and a further twothrough Grandes Programmes or the open science model in 2001. The government spent around 75 million € on the(Brette & Chappoz 2007). In regional policy, France pio- establishment of technological platforms for co-operationneered the promotion of growth poles in a tradition linked over the first three years and promoted a nationwide divi-to the works of Francois Perroux in the 1950s, but that sion of labour between the ten specialised Genopoles.approach fell into disgrace with the demise of industrial Three main assessments carried out between 2001 andpolicy in the 1980s (Longhi & Rainelli 2007: 2 f.). More 2003 found that the initiative did have some impact on therecently, the government responds to perceived weakness- science infrastructure and improved the networking ofes in high-tech industries as highlighted by Beffa (2005), scientists. However, the programme’s economic impacta lack of collective processes involving firms, universities appeared unsatisfactory since networks were dominatedand research, and to the Lisbon agenda by e.g. adding a by academic actors and raised output mainly in the formcompetitiveness dimension to its regional policy from of academic publications. Most Genopoles outside the1999 and 2002 onwards. Central government in France Île de France region still lack a critical mass of firms andfirst embraced the cluster approach with a programme to hence failed to mobilise public local production systems in 1998 and respondedto the German BioRegio example with a Genopole initia- The Pôles de Compétitivitétive to spur the commercialisation of life sciences in 1999, First outlined by the French regional planning Author-before embarking on its massive Pôles de Compétivité ity DATAR (2004, now DIACT = Interministerial Delega-programme in the mid-2000s. tion for Territorial Competitiveness and Attractiveness), 43
  8. 8. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regionsthe Pôles de Compétitivité programme was originally maining 18.3% of Pôles were found not to have met theirdesigned to improve the international competitiveness of targets, they were thus recommended for a reconfigura-10–15 clusters. However, a call for proposals in September tion. While Pôle status will expire for the latter group af-2004 stimulated 105 project applications, of which 67 ter one grace year at the end of 2009, the first two groupsclusters were ultimately selected. This figure was further will remain eligible for funding under the Pôles 2.0 pro-increased to 71 in a second round in 2007. The expansion gramme that is endowed with another 1.5 billion € fromof the original programme design meant that the orienta- 2009 to 2011.tion towards international competitiveness had to be com- Academics are more critical about the Pôles pro-promised. As a result, only six clusters were classified as gramme than the official evaluation commissioned by theinternational, with ‘international orientation’ attributed to French government. Longhi & Rainelli (2007) acknowl-a further nine, adding up to the number originally targeted. edge a positive mobilisation effect since most Pôles didThe remainder consists of 15 inter-regional and 37 regional not have formal co-operation structures prior to their ap-clusters. Spatially, the programme was expanded from the plication. Furthermore, the programme has improved poli-most competitive clusters nation-wide to include applicants cy co-ordination within and across the various level offrom almost all regions across the country, which means a government, including a diffusion of knowledge on clus-shift from national to regional objectives. Sectorally, this ter promotion. Their main critique, however, surroundsinflation led to the inclusion of industries like meat the inflation of clusters supported by the programme. Aprocessing and construction (OECD 2007: 191). It is no committee staffed mainly by civil servants rather thansurprise that the most advanced “global competitiveness business representatives selected many former low-techpoles” can be found in those regions commonly known SPL which have thus been relabelled Pôles, while otherfor their outstanding technological capabilities, i.e. Île de Pôles would rather suit the definition of SPLs rather thanFrance (Medicin Paris Region, System@tic, Finance), the original understanding of Pôles. As a result of theirRhône-Alpes (Lyonbiopole, Minalogic), Midi-Pyrénées heterogeneous economic and innovative capabilities, the(Aerospace Valley) and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur 71 clusters scored very differently on the generation of(Secured Communication Solutions). R&D projects. Further critique include the tight time- A Pôle typically includes up to a handful of very large frame of the application process, the dominance of largefirms, up to hundreds of SMEs, and three to four institu- firms in many clusters, different expectations especiallytions of higher education and research institutions, respec- between large firms and SMEs, governance structurestively. Responding to the expansion of the programme, complicated by a multiplicity of oversight bodies, as wellcentral government doubled its funding from 750 million as a lack of inter-cluster networking. To improve their€ originally earmarked for 10–15 international clusters to chance for selection, applicants moved towards the forma-1.5 billion € for 67 Pôles over three years, which may be tion of larger areas, leading to a gradual shift from region-topped up by EU, regional and local government funds. al towards national clusters. In sum, the Pôles de Com-80% of this funding is reserved for the 15 clusters with at pétitivité programme integrates top-down elementsleast international orientation, while only 11 million € go (initiation, selection of Pôles) with a bottom-up approach,into the cluster management of the Pôles, averaging around but the decision on R&D funding remains a centralised55,000 € per cluster and year. The bulk of the money is and very demanding multi-step process: “The label pole isused as competitive funding for projects accessible for not a guarantee of financing, it is only a prerequisite toconsortia of at least two firms and one research institute compete for subsidies” (Longhi/Rainelli 2007, S. 11).from a territory designated as Pôle, the demarcation of Despite a quarter-century of decentralisation effort, thewhich was part of the Pôle’s initial application (Longhi & French government’s recent cluster policy is still markedRainelli 2007: 10). by a considerable degree of centralism. Evaluation of the Pôles programme ––––– Country Case Studies: United Kingdom ––––– Between November 2007 and June 2008, the Pôlesprogramme has been subject to an official evaluation Within the EU, the United Kingdom is the most promi-(BCG & CM International 2008). It was found that 54.9% nent case of a liberal market economy. While centralismof the Pôles achieved their policy targets fully, while a reached its latest climax under the Thatcher administra-further 26.8% achieved them partially at least. The re- tion, New Labour engaged in a major devolution effort 44
  9. 9. Structural Change in Europe – Innovative City and Business Regionsfrom 1997 by decentralising powers to the Devolved sport Development UK which pulls together the fourAdministrations (DAs) in Scotland, Wales and Northern RDAs covering England’s Motorsport Valley (cf. AstonIreland, as well as to the Regional Development Agencies 1998). Cluster initiatives supported by RDAs include(RDAs) in England. In general, UK policy has a strong high-tech and more traditional industries alike and com-focus on improving labour productivity by removing ob- bine a range of activities from regional mapping studiesstacles to innovation, skills and infrastructure. As part of via the identification and forging of links with importantthis overarching thrust, regional policy focuses on improve- regional clusters to employing clusters as vehicles for widerments in lagging regions which are seen as a drag on economic development initiatives (OECD 2007: 318).national productivity and income levels in the light of anever-deepening North-South divide. Flexibility at the expense of strategic coherence Mirroring the French situation, the UK way of cluster DTI – top-down mapping and best practice manual promotion retains a significant degree of central control While Scottish Enterprise has been a European pioneer despite noticeable devolution. It is through their fundingof cluster policies in the early 1990s (cf. Brown 2000), that regional institutions such as DAs and RDAs remainWhitehall did not open its doors for clusters until the De- “closely linked to and strongly associated with centralpartment of Trade and Industry’s 1998 Competitiveness government” (ibid: 315). However, there are significantWhite Paper included an enquiry into the UK’s biotech differences to France: In line with the UK’s classificationclusters. From 1999 to 2003, a High-level Cluster Policy as a liberal market economy, cluster policy does not in-Steering Group looked at barriers to cluster development volve top-down prescriptions but rather provides a flexibleand recommended appropriate policy measures. This was framework for cluster promotion through the regionalaccompanied by a top-down cluster mapping exercise that agencies. The cluster concept is used intensively for map-identified a total of 154 ‘clusters’, amounting to between ping and localisation of industrial dynamics, but less foreight and 18 per UK region. These clusters accounted for specific policy action. Although the UK pioneered the use43 per cent of regional employment in London, but only of the cluster idea through Scottish Enterprise in the early15 per cent in the North West (DTI 2001: 8 f.). The DTI’s 1990s, cluster policy remains “a peripheral isolated area2001 White Paper “Opportunity for all in a World of of piecemeal policy development” (Borrás & TasgdisChange” encourages the newly-formed RDAs to develop 2008: 89). RDAs are the lead agencies in charge of clusterexisting and embryonic clusters in their regions. The DTI promotion, but since they are fraught with a wide range ofstresses that the focus should be on creating favourable tasks, cluster policy has to compete with issues like lifelongconditions for the formation and growth of clusters, but learning or the ageing workforce for attention. Under anot on attempting to create clusters artificially. It promotes liberal framework, the greater flexibility in cluster promo-clusters to RDAs as a key instrument to support business tion obviously comes at the expense of strategic coherence.excellence and to promote innovation. Initially, the DTItied its funding of RDA cluster initiatives to the results of –––––– National Styles of Cluster Promotion ––––––its 2001 mapping exercise. However, following two yearsof consultation the RDAs decides to pursue cluster poli- What scope for cross-border policy learning?cies autonomously of the DTI to better suit their regional Cluster promotion represents a textbook case of multi-needs (Borrás & Tsagdis 2008: 90). To provide guidance, level governance involving supra-national, national, re-the DTI (2004) issued a best practice manual on cluster gional and local actors and hence the interaction of top-development which highlights functioning networks and down and bottom-up policies. This is evidenced by allpartnerships, a strong innovation base with supporting country cases studied in this paper, irrespective of theirR&D activities and a strong skills base as the most critical variety in terms of capitalism and federalism. Despitesuccess factors. decentralisation efforts in the UK and France, top-down elements in the cluster policies of both countries remain RDAs – a range of different cluster initiatives stronger than in an originally federal country like Germany. The flexibility of the DTI-RDA framework has encour- Varieties of capitalism help explaining why the UK ap-aged a rather diverse set of regional initiatives ranging proach provides a flexible framework for cluster promo-from single RDA projects to collective cluster initiatives tion, but lacks strategic coherence. However, this does notinvolving the joint effort of several RDAs such as Motor- necessary imply that the more co-ordinated efforts of 45
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