Category: Innovation PolicyAbstract
The lack of regional specialisation might be an important factor explaining the European competitiveness gap with leading global peers. This is one of the main conclusions of the EU-10 cluster mapping report prepared by a team of academics lead by professor C. Ketels from the Stockholm School of Economics.Description
The report presents the first systematic mapping and analysis of regional clusters across the EU-10. It describes the differences in regional specialisation across 38 cluster categories, the changes that have occurred in cluster specialisation patterns in the last few years, and the nature of the leading locations across individual cluster categories. The cluster sector gained a total of 1 million jobs between 2000 and 2004, an increase of about 10%.
Overall, the regional clusters account for almost two thirds of total employment in the cluster sector across the 10 new Member States. In recent years, strong clusters have emerged, such as in the automotive industry, but some other sectors lost economic importance, i.e., footwear. The figures in the report suggest that the economies of the EU-10 countries are still undergoing an intense structural change.
The EU-10 cluster mapping report is part of the Europe INNOVA initiative, which serves the European innovation community. Europe INNOVA already provides industrial clusters with a learning platform enable them to identify, analyse and share good practice in cluster management, in order to seize opportunities and address the challenges of globalisation.
The analysis presented in this report provides a powerful to understand the industrial dynamics of the regional economies across the EU-10. According to the report, the EU-10 exhibits much lower specialisation on specific regional clusters within regions and much lower geographical concentration on specific regions within cluster categories than the US economy.
This is a serious concern in the light of the widespread assumption that higher levels of specialisation and concentration enable higher productivity and innovation. Interestingly, the report hints that this may not only be a problem for the EU-10, but also for the EU-15 countries.
To ascertain this worrying indication and complete the mapping of regional clusters across the EU-25, a similar study of the EU-15 regional clusters will be conducted in the next year. A complete picture of the EU's regional competitive strengths will prove to be a valuable instrument for industry and policy-makers at all levels.
Download the Study on clusters in the 10 new MS
For further information, please visit the Europe INNOVA web site
In order to view documents in Portable Document Format, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.05 or above. If you do not have this software, download it here (free of charge).