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Innovating in Cluster/Cluster as Innovation: The Case of the Biotechvalley Cluster Initiative
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. (CIND)
2009 (English)In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944, Vol. 17, no 11, 1625-1643 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been noted that innovation seems to take place to a higher degree in clusters than elsewhere and we have lately seen a worldwide wave of emerging cluster initiatives and similar innovation policy projects. Some of these are realistic efforts based on existing regional strengths and partly existing cluster structures. Most, however, are grasping at straws. The latter is especially true when it comes to technologies such as IT and biotech. We could subsequently add a new label -"pathetic clusters" -to the already existing list of embryonic, emerging, world-class or stagnating clusters. But what do we make of such "pathetic clusters" (are they really pathetic)? Although economic geographers often tend to explain innovation (competitiveness) by looking at cluster dynamics, in such accounts, the cluster concept itself can actually function as an innovation, imposing similar effects on the economy as more familiar types of innovation would, i.e. by creating a local competitive edge. It is reasonable to believe that if "pathetic clusters" play important roles in regional economies, then they do so in the form of social and organizational innovations rather than as Porterian drivers of innovation and industrial dynamics on a large scale. This function of the cluster concept-as a local innovation-is the focus of the paper at hand.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 17, no 11, 1625-1643 p.
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95778DOI: 10.1080/09654310903230558ISI: 000270137500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95778DiVA: diva2:170116
Available from: 2007-04-19 Created: 2007-04-19 Last updated: 2010-12-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Locating Biotech Innovation: Places, Flows and Unruly Processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Locating Biotech Innovation: Places, Flows and Unruly Processes
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis begins by making two observations. First, that the regional economic landscapes in which we all live our daily lives, and which provide the basis for employment and prosperity, are constantly changing. Second, that one of the most popular strategies currently pursued by regions and nations for coping with such change, relies heavily on innovation within a few high-tech industries, biotech being one prominent example. The thesis is an investigation into the potential – and limits – of biotech-based development policies for creating renewal and economic growth at the local, regional or national scales. How does it really work when a team of biotech researchers develops a new invention? How can a small Swedish town manage to attract large foreign direct investments and stay competitive in the global biotech landscape? How is the performance of biotech knowledge workers affected by the places they live in, go to, leave, and make up? What impact can a biotech firm have on the local economic landscape in which it is located? These are the kind of questions that are studied in the four papers that make up this thesis. The thesis develops a conceptual framework within which we can better understand the extent to which mono-territorial actors, like regional and national policymakers, can influence high-tech sectors like biotech; sectors that are polycentric in nature and only partly take place in, or pass through, regional and national territories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, 2007. 49 p.
Geografiska regionstudier, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 73
Social and economic geography, Biotech, Biotechnology, Innovation, Creativity, Clusters, Innovation systems, Technology policy, Regional development, Economic spaces, Time-geography, Time-space, Mobility, Knowledge, Knowledge workers, Agglomeration, Talent, Biotech firms, Innovation Policy, Kulturgeografi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7827 (URN)978-91-506-1930-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-05-11, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2007-04-19 Created: 2007-04-19Bibliographically approved

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