Clusters, Cluster - Based Economic Development, and Innovation



Thank you for everyones participation! Here is a list questions that came up during the webinar. Please feel free to post further questions or answer some of them on this forum.

1. KG: Is there evidence to support the assertion that "first class jobs are attracted to first class infrastructure" as President Obama asseted in the 2013 State of the Union address? Or in other words, what is relationship between ex ante investment in social and physical infrastructure, and later cluster respecialization toward increasingly sophisticated products that raise wages and boost employment?

2. CZ: Is it possible for government intervention to induce a wholly new and comopetitive cluster or only to upgrade an existing cluster? -

3. BL: It seems you call two different things as clusters: geographical concentration of business activities (e.g. the USA examples) and value chains (e.g. the Austrilian tourism example). Agree?

4. EL: Can you differentiate between the ideas behind clusters and the theory of growth poles?  Both are spatial development concepts, how are these interrelated?

5. N: What does the research tell us about the value of connecting clusters, including across borders?

6. LF: We are doing cluster mapping in nigeria right now. any particular guidelines in doing such as most clusters involve a lot of sub sectors.

7. OZ: Is there any evidence of successful clusters from oil-rich countries (from the GCC region) which were used as a mean to achieve economic diversification?

8. KK: Guidelines for setting up clusters in markets with poor investment climates and How do you structure cluster initiatives that are self sufficient?

9. DF: What are the characteristics of a good impact assesment of cluster initiatives?

10. JH: What are the characteristics of a bad cluster policy initiative?

  • What is the importance of lead organizations in clusters?

    11. IS: Please comment on single lead vs multiple lead vs no lead?

  • #3

    Hello everyone,

    Please feel free to post any thoughts on the webinar on clusters or take on some of the questions that were raised. 

    I will be facilitating the discussion on this forum by connecting you to resources that would help answer your questions. Please let me know if you have any throughts or feedback that you would like to share.



    Hello Hari: Thank you for posting this questions and facilitating the discussion. 

    I am starting to work on a paper that evaluates size of cluster initiatives in Eastern Europe and I am very curios to hear more about the question number 5: 

    "What does the research tell us about the value of connecting clusters, including across borders?" 

    Furthermore, I am curious to learn more about the importance of the size of clusters in general and if cross-border clusters significantly improve the performance of clusters!

    Thank you for your help.   


    @EB. Welcome to the forum. Thank you for your question. 

    Question 5: What does the research tell us about the value of connecting clusters, including across borders?

    The Medicon Valley cluster in the Öresund region spanning the Copenhagen metropolitan area in Denmark and southern Sweden is an example of a trans-border cluster. Here is a BCG report on the future of this cluster

    The EU given its focus on regional intergration is also committed to the idea of clusters without borders. Here is a policy paper on this:

    Hope this was helpful.




    Hi Hari,
    I'm so sorry to have missed the first webinar, and am glad to be able to find out more about it from this forum.
    Would you like to kindly provide me information about question 8? It would really help me.
    Also, based on the past experiences, would it be better, in the context of developing countries, to start at the regional level before expanding it or the policy for the national level is always preferable?


    Hello everybody. First of all let me congratulate the IPP team on getting the IPP CoP launched and running the first thematic webinar, I really enjoyed it. I recently had the chance of participating in TCI's annual global cluster conference in Monterrey, Mexico, where we expanded on a lot of the subjects touched upon by Christian Kettles during the webinar. 

    Here are a couple of relevant points and resources that I drew from the conference: 

    The state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico is a very interesting example of a region following a cluster-based economic development strategy, in a middle income country. I was suprised to see how local actors have managed to promote cluster development in the absence of major domestic MOEs.

    Developing cluster support policy is becoming increasingly trickier rapidly evolving economic contexts, technologies, sectors and markets. Doing so on the basis of sound evidence and data seem to be one of the keys to succes. Several recent initiatives are aimed at gathering data a on existing clusters at the regional, national and European level. I encourage everybody to check out the following examples of cluster observatories: European cluster observatory, US cluster mapping, Observatory Estratégico Tecnologico. This might also be helpful to @LF who is doing cluster mapping in Nigeria. 

    Finally, the issue of cluster policy evaluation seems to be increasingly hot. There is consensus regarding the need for effective cluster policy evaluation to be done on a regular basis, but doing so is no easy task. Capturing the effects of clusters on capacity building and relationship development accross actors is still a major challenge. TCI has produced a brochure exploring some of these ideas; the EU commission has also published a handbook on Innovation policy evaluation methods (including cluster policy).

    Finally on the issue of cross-border clusters @EB, it might be worth checking out the Aquitaine-Euskadi Euroregion


    Hi Prudence,

    Thank you for your questions.

    Question 8: Guidelines for setting up clusters in markets with poor investment climates and How do you structure cluster initiatives that are self sufficient?

    Please take a look at this report on industrial clusters in Asia for information on cluster development in developing countries. In addition, the section on clusters in this innovation policy guide also provide frameworks for setting up clusters in markets with poor investment climates. Also, this report consisting of case studies from Brazil include instances of cluster development.

    Question: Is it better to focus regionally rather than nationally when it comes to developing cluster policies?

    There is no straightforward answer to this since it all depends on the context. Historically, clusters emerged in response to a regional comparative advantage (for instance, presence of a raw material or a unique human resource skill). As a result, regionally focused policies would likely have had a bigger impact on the development of these local clusters. However, there also have been efforts to create national level policies on clusters, these often tend to be for increasing coordination between different clusters, and framing policies that make it easier for clusters to emerge in response to a comparative advantage. In the end, there is not definitive one is better than the other answer, successful cluster policy initiatives are likely to include an element of both national and regional strategies. The final mix would likely depend on the nature of governance (decentralized vs. centralized), the size of the country, and the capacity of regional governments.




    Hi Hari,

    Thank you very much for your answers to my questions, which I must confess are very useful.

    Carlos - I really enjoyed reading from you, and I have learnt a lot from the resources provided. I hope you'll kindly continue to share your very rich experience with us, so that we can learn from each other.

    Kind regards,



    @Carlos: Thanks for the very helpful resource. I was not aware of that yet. This will allow me to go in a new direction and delve deeper into that idea. Thank you!!!