Industrial Transformations dans ERIEP


ERIEP | Number 5 | Cluster policy for innovation and competitiveness

The new complexity of local production and the enlightened role of industrial policy: The Basque Country Case

The central idea of this work revolves around some structural transformations that are occurring within several local production systems in Europe (and worldwide) that affects their own competitiveness and development potential. These transformations have a significant impact also on theory, particularly discerning the relevance of the Porterian view vis-à-vis the ‘district approach’. The first deliberately widens the span of the cluster concept and reality in order to include a large variety of activities and a significant geographical size of production and market dynamics, whereas the second tends to equate the concept of cluster with that of district in two key aspects, i.e. geographical reach and sectoral width of industrial activities. Within this debate, this work offers two meaningful elements. First of all, it focuses on new cluster formations – four clusters in the Basque Country, Spain - that represent the new industrial complexity of local production systems. This complexity is developed endogenously as a means to respond to the new challenges set by globalization. These case studies help to verify whether the former conceptualizations are definitive or need to incorporate new key features. Secondly and simultaneously, the relevance of a proactive regional policy approach is discussed as a means to build up such competitive responses to globalization.

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