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Competitive Regional Clusters

National Policy Approaches

image of Competitive Regional Clusters

In today’s globalising world, the regional specialisations built up over decades are transforming rapidly. Many regions that were historically production centres in a given sector are losing out to lower-cost locations and reorienting to higher value-added niches.  National programmes to promote cluster-based approaches -- linking firms, people and knowledge at a regional level -- are being used to meet the challenge. This report analyses the objectives, targeting, instruments and inter-governmental role sharing used by 26 programmes in 14 OECD countries. It will be of interest to policy makers, researchers, firms and others active in promoting innovation and competitiveness.

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Finland

This chapter offers a case study on two programmes to support clusters in Finland. The National Cluster programme was a strategy in the late 1990s to support Finland’s most prominent industry clusters as selected by different sectoral ministries through increased R&D financing for collaborative projects. The current flagship programme is the Centers of Expertise that support the development of expertise, firm creation and innovation in different regional urban hubs, usually in conjunction with technology parks.

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