Clusters; Cluster evolution; Cluster life cycles; Knowledge spillovers; Economic geography; Social network analysis; Switzerland; Watch industry; Cleantech; Medical technology
Livi Christian, Jeannerat Hugues (2015), Born to be Sold: Start-ups as Products and new Territorial Life Cycles of Industrialization, in European Planning Studies
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Livi Christian, Jeannerat Hugues, Crevoisier Olivier (2015), L'industrie photovoltaïque de Suisse occidentale: un milieu "valuateur" multi-local, in Innovations
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Livi Christian, Jeannerat Hugues, Crevoisier Olivier, From Regional Innovation to Multi-local Valuation Milieus: The case of Western Switzerland photovoltaic industry, in Rutten Roel (ed.), Routledge, London, 23-41.
Edward Elgar (ed.), Sustainable Innovation and Regional Development: Rethinking Innovative Milieus
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Livi Christian, Araujo Pedro, Crevoisier Olivier, The territories of sustainable innovation: from local milieus to responsible communication: The case od photovoltaïcs and sustainable finance in Western Switzerland, in GREMI (ed.), GREMI, Paris, 1.
Huguenin Ariane, Transition énergétique et territoire: une approche par le "milieu valuateur", in Géographie, Economie, Société
Over the past two decades, clusters have become a popular concept in research on regional economic development, and even more so in policy and practice. While recent theoretical discussions focus on the evolution of clusters through their respective life cycles from emergence via growth, maturity to decline and possibly renewal or transition into new activities, empirical research remains essentially static and limited to isolated and often highly selective case studies. On the other hand, cluster policies tend to focus on emerging, embryonic and fast-growing clusters whilst neglecting the life cycle dynamics of clusters and the need to support mature and declining clusters which may carry the seeds for renewal or even new clusters.Both at the European and at the Swiss level, the proposed project aims at overcoming this deficiency by analysing cluster dynamics at different stages of the life cycle, building on a common conceptual and methodological framework that focuses on the role of actors, networks and institutions, as well as endogenous and exogenous factors influencing cluster evolution. Cleantech in Northern Switzerland has been selected as a case of (potential) cluster emergence that is rarely studied in real-time. A social network analysis of research institutions and firms will identify functional linkages and regional cluster potential, supported by interview surveys and patent analysis to identify spillovers from established industries on which the emerging cleantech segment draws.The second case study combines the watch cluster along the Jurassic Arc and the medical technology (medtech) industry which is co-located in parts but tends to form a nation-wide cluster. While the Swiss watch industry has experienced decline from the 1970s and renewal from the 1980s, it served as a source of knowledge spillovers to medtech that emerged in the 1980s and continues to enjoy robust growth until today. We employ quantitative and qualitative surveys including a bibliographic survey of precision engineers and patent analysis to assess the relevance and alternative channels of spillovers from the watch industry to medtech.Integrated into a network of case studies from seven European countries guided by a common conceptual foundation and methodological framework, our case studies will add much-needed empirical evidence to the current theoretical discussion on cluster evolution and life cycles, shedding light on the factors affecting cluster emergence, growth, decline, renewal and transition. Recommendations will inform cluster policy on how to conceive measures which are sensitive to cluster dynamics that differ not only between industries and regions, but also between different stages of the cluster life cycle.