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 case study covers two approaches in the Netherlands that have a cluster-based component. Peaks in the Delta is the nation’s new regional policy that promotes economic development in regions, with funds channeled in part to clusters selected by these regions. The Key Innovation Areas are part of the nation’s innovation strategy but also have a strong regional impact. The goal of this approach is to strengthen those areas of competence important to the Netherlands with a strong role for innovation.

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