Clusters, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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This publication explores the success of major innovation and entrepreneurship clusters in OECD countries, the challenges they now face in sustaining their positions and the lessons for other places seeking to build successful clusters.  What are the key factors for cluster success?  What problems are emerging on the horizon? Which is the appropriate role of the public sector in supporting the expansion of  clusters and overcoming the obstacles?

The book addresses these and other issues, analysing seven internationally reputed clusters in depth: Grenoble in France, Vienna in Austria, Waterloo in Canada, Dunedin in New Zealand, Medicon Valley in Scandinavia, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, and Madison, Wisconsin, in the United States.  For each cluster, it looks at the factors that have contributed to its growth, the impact of the cluster on local entrepreneurship performance, and the challenges faced for further expansion.  It also puts forward a set of policy recommendations geared to the broader context of cluster development.

This publication is essential reading for policy makers, practitioners and academics wishing to obtain good practices in cluster development and guidance on how  to enhance the economic impact of clusters.


English Also available in: French

Executive Summary

Contrary to popular belief, the globalised knowledge economy relies more and more on the local dimension. In order to boost economic development and respond efficiently to ever keener international competition, OECD member countries need to pursue entrepreneurship and innovation policies that reflect their own distinctive local characteristics. Throughout the OECD area, innovation is increasingly concentrated within clusters of enterprises and research/training institutions that work on complementary activities. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that clusters are an important source of innovation and competitiveness driven at the local level. Clusters create an environment conducive to productivity gains, which are a factor of growth, and so form a structure that helps enterprises meet the challenges of international competition. This local dimension of innovation and entrepreneurship nonetheless poses challenges to policy makers because clusters require policies and support schemes that are tailored to local needs.


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