Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Smart specialisation path in the basque country and the cluster policy


Published on

The document describes which has been the path to Smart Specialisation in the Basque Country, how is cluster policy related to the Smart Specialisation Strategy and what teachings can be learnt from the practice of cluster policy for the construction of Smart Specialisation Strategies

Published in: News & Politics

Smart specialisation path in the basque country and the cluster policy

  1. 1. Smart Specialisation Pathin the Basque Country andthe Cluster PolicyMari Jose ArangurenMikel NavarroTR3S Project Kick Off Meeting27th March 2012 1
  2. 2. Structure of the presentation1. Some key issues2. Which has been the Smart specialisation Path in the Basque Country?3. How is cluster policy related to Smart specialisation strategy?4. What can be learned from the practice of cluster policy for the construction of smart specialisation strategies (SSS)?5. Conclusions 2
  3. 3. Some key issues: Territorial strategy Firm Strategy Territorial strategy1. GOALS (narrow or broad) 1. GOALS (narrow or broad)2. POSITIONING AND BASIS 2. POSITIONING AND BASIS• Which products • Which activities and• Which clients and needs technological areas• Which access (sector/clusters…)• Which internal resources and • Which assets capabilities • Which agents • Which external relationships • Which internal articulation3. PROCESS 3. PROCESS More or less participative, More or less participative, but compulsory for all the but not compulsory for all members of the firm the members of the territory 3
  4. 4. Some key issues: Territorial strategy 4
  5. 5. Some key issues: Smart Specialisation Strategies (SSS)“Smart Specialisation is about placing greater emphasis oninnovation and focusing scarce human and financial RTDIresources in a few globally competitive areas”. (p. 41)“Smart Specialisation Strategies entail a process ofentrepreneurial discovery, identifying globally distinct nichesand steering the RTDI and business innovation efforts of allstakeholders towards those areas” (p. 41)European Commission. Commission Staff Working Document.Document accompanying the Commission Communication on Regional Policy contributing to smartgrowth in Europe 2020 COM(2010) 553 final 5
  6. 6. Some key issues: S3 Content: activities and assetsGoal: “specialised diversification”/“smart diversification and upgrading”Narrow view: = General Purpose Technologies (GPT) = Leaders: invention; followers: co-invention = Risks (monopolies, less variety...) and less flexibility to adapt and built capabilities in promising fieldsBroad view: I&D and other innovation activities that make possible to innovate and increase productivity (see the new growth accountancy based on intangibles). Those non R&D based activities are particularly important in less developed regions, SMEs and creative industries. 6
  7. 7. Some key issues: ways of “smart diversification”Retooling (modernisation): support to technological and human resourceupgrading within an already existing industry.How: applying GPT to a sector(nano to pulp and paper industry) but also, by cluster initiatives, renewal orrestructuration…Extending (diversification): some diversification of the knowledge basedeveloped based on synergies and commonalities between two or moreactivities (e.g. moving from aeronautics to satellites and GPS technologies)Emerging (radical foundation): the discovery of an entirely new nichewhich is likely to be viable and economically important. By applying researchand innovation in a particular area (e.g. TICs in the maintenance of thearchaeological and historical heritage) an attractive and profitable businessactivity appears.Cross-sectoral (transition): a new combination of sectors helps generateinnovative ideas for new products and services (e.g. collaboration inter-clusters) 7
  8. 8. Some key issues: S3 process: entrepreneurial processNarrow view: Government doesn’t select specialisation. Their role is:• Supplying incentives to (encourage) entrepreneurs who are involved in the discovery of the right specialisations• Identifying and supporting the complementary investments to the right specialisations (e.g. educational and training institutions)• Assessing the value of the identified specialisations, so that the support of a particular line of business will not be discontinued too early nor continued so long that subsidies are wasted• Provide information and facilitate coordination and connections, within the territory and with other territoriesBroad view: beyond facilitating, takes part in the discovery process:• Sometimes local agents lack the capabilities needed for the discovery process (usually, in less developed regions)• Local agents can have to much power and capture the processBut regional government might lack the powers and capabilities as well 8
  9. 9. Some key issues: The Cluster ConceptA cluster is a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies andassociated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities andcomplementarities. Porter (1998) • Roots in other concepts with a long trajectory of analysis: – Agglomeration economies, industrial districts, innovative milieu ... • Some practical problems: – Geographical scope? – Clusters versus cluster initiatives versus cluster organisations? • ‘Chaotic’ concept, but commonly understood basis for policy: – Geographic proximity of agents in related industries – Hypothesised benefits from co-operative relationships, alongside competitionCURRENT PRACTICE:Extremely wide adoption by policy-makers at different administrative levels, butheterogeneity of approaches, lack of consolidation of clusters within Europe, and 9complex challenges in evaluating the effectiveness of policies
  10. 10. Some key issues: Trajectory of Basque Cluster Policy Launch (1990s): Consolidation (2000s): Adaption to New Realities (from 2010):* Concerns around * Strategic reflection Basque about the policy * New competitiveness competitiveness & plan (2010-2013) * Formalisation of policy consultancy report in mechanisms for the * Changes in management early 1990s functioning of the and governance of the* Workgroups in 9 public-private cluster policy priority clusters relationship * Evolution of the policy to* Process leading to * Identification of three incorporate new creation of cluster core working areas for activities: support for associations supported the associations: ‘pre-clusters’ by a cluster policy quality, * Establishment of an internationalisation ‘inter-cluster’ initiative* Mixed private-public and innovation to reflect on the finance to cover the cost of the 10 resulting * Emergence of 2 further synergies between the cluster associations cluster associations activities of different clusters 10
  11. 11. Activity Cluster Association Creation Number of Policy Support MembersHome Appliances ACEDE 1992 8 Basque Gov (Industry)Automotive ACICAE 1993 130 Basque Gov (Industry)Energy Cluster de Energía 1996 88 Basque Gov (Industry)Aerospace HEGAN 1997 37 Basque Gov (Industry)Maritime Foro Marítimo Vasco 1997 163 Basque Gov (Industry)Machine Tool AFM 1992 86 Basque Gov (Industry)ManufacturersPaper Cluster de Papel 1998 20 Basque Gov (Industry)Environment ACLIMA 1995 82 Basque Gov (Industry)Port of Bilbao UNIPORT 1995 144 Basque Gov (Industry)Telecommunications GAIA 1996 240 Basque Gov (Industry)Audiovisual EIKEN 2004 43 Basque Gov (Industry)Transport and Logistics CLUSTERTIL 2005 88 Basque Gov (Transport)Alimentation Cluster de la Alimentación 2008 31 Basque Gov (Industry)Graphic arts Sector Association 2009 34 Basque Gov (Industry)Iron and Steel foundry Sector Association 2009 68 Basque Gov (Industry)Biosciences Biobasque 2006/2009 25 Basque Gov (Industry)Habitat HABIC 2009 70 Basque Gov (Industry)Forging and Casting Sector Association 2009 16 Basque Gov (Industry)Construction Sector Association 2010 56 Basque Gov (Industry)Hand Tools Herramex 2010 28 Basque Gov (Industry) 11
  12. 12. Which has been the Smart Specialisation Path in the Basque Country1980-1990 period:• New regional administration restructured the traditional metal industry by non R&D based activities: investment in equipments and organisational improvements (retooling)• The completely new administration play a crucial role in the process, because firms were not able. Adjustments were negotiated or consulted with unions.1991-1998 period:• There is a formal industrial strategy. Regarding traditional sectors clusters are actively fostered by the Basque Government (BG).• The outset of a diversifying policy: towards aeronautics and city renewal (Bilbao/Guggenheim) (extendings not based on R&D)• The BG designed the overall strategy top-down, led the clustering process and the renewal of cities, and backed the firms’ initiative in aeronautics.From 1999 until now:• Clustering is widened and upgraded (retooling). In 2011 cross-cluster initiatives are launched (cross-sectoral)• Besides, an R&D based diversifying strategy is launched in bio, nano and energy• General strategic plans are designed in a more participative process. The role of BG varies depending on the strength of other agents 12
  13. 13. Which has been the Smart Specialisation Path in the Basque Country: R&D based diversification strategiesCharacteristics Biobasque Nanobasque EnergibasquePrevious conditions and Lack of previous Some research More than 350 firmsassets traditional conditions for capabilities in were already being a bio-region universities and projects established including in firms industrial world- leadersWays of specialisation 1st step: creating a bio- Introducing nano and Upgrading and sector (radical micro applications in diversifying of existing foundation) traditional sectors activities (retooling and Next steps: Diversifying (retooling). extending) and being the machine-tool sector present in future new (extending) and sectors (emerging) applications in other sectors (retooling)Entrepreneurial process Role of other agents Need of external Strategy based on firms’and role of other agents different to BG is now conditions. Role of other and research centres’ being developed agents (mainly, activities university research groups) higher than in biosRole of government Crucial and unique role Launched the strategy Coordination and of the BG (Industry support of activities department) developed by firms and other agents 13
  14. 14. How is cluster policy related with S3: Some Similarities in Practice• Both imply forms of cooperation between firms and other agents working in related/complementary sectors• Both imply an underlying entrepreneurial process of discovery of synergies, opportunities and possibilities• Both are place-specific: They rely on place-based assets, context and institutions, and are limited in working across territories• Both are transformative, but subject to debate around the appropriate role of government in this transformation• Both are systemic & require new types of leadership/governance• Both are characterised by extreme difficulties in evaluating the effectiveness of associated policies 14
  15. 15. What can be learned from the practice of cluster policy for the construction of S3? • Working across sectors is challenging, both within the framework of a cluster policy and with regards a SSS • Experience with cluster policies shows that process is critical: – Which agents are involved? – How they are involved and how decisions are made? – What training/tools do they receive to understand the policy/concept? – Over what timescale have they been involved? • Challenges in making cluster policies more sophisticated and in consolidating S3 are strongly related and reflect: 1. The need to better articulate the synergies between the two policies 2. The need to be patient with long-term processesBringing abstract concepts such as clusters or SSS alive in a policy context is not 15something that can happen overnight: the agents involved need to learn over time
  16. 16. Conclusions• In a region more than a strategy might be launched, involving different roles from government and other agents• Not all S3 must be drawn upon R&D or technological innovation, mainly in less developed regions, SMEs and creative industries• Even when the usual conditions are not in place, by levering in other related local assets, a determined and persistent plan with a flexible focus, might prove to be successful• R&D based diversifying strategies required a great deal of resources and government capabilities, maintained for long periods, lacking in most of the regions.• Clusters and S3 are inherently related concepts• Important to exploit synergies between existing cluster policies and the construction of S3• There are many lessons for S3 from experience with cluster policy: above all, the importance of process, governance and time 16
  17. 17. Thank you!! Eskerrik asko!! Emails: and mnavarro@orkestra.deusto.esSan Sebastián University of Deusto Bilbao CRAI Library,Campus University of DeustoMundaiz, 50 Ramón Rubial, 1, planta 8, aula 720012 Donostia/San Sebastián 48009 Bilbao 17