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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This chapter is a case study on a range of programmes in Germany, emanating from various policy streams with a cluster-based approach, with a special focus on three of the most prominent programmes. The BioRegio programme served to concentrate research funds in a limited number of regions to support biotechnology, a sector of strategic national interest. The InnoRegio programme seeks to improve the innovation capacity of the lagging new Länder in Eastern Germany with support from EU Structural Funds. The GA-network initiative is a funding negotiation tool between the federal level and Länder to provide funding for projects that improve collaboration among regional actors with a strong research focus.

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