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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United Kingdom

As there is no nationally managed cluster programme per se, this case study for the United Kingdom reviews a range of cluster initiatives supported by the Department of Trade and Industry that are designed and implemented by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and the Devolved Administrations (DAs). Programmes vary but have included commissioning regional mapping studies, identifying and building links with important regional clusters and using clusters as the vehicle for wider economic development initiatives.

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