Project

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Cluster Emergence, Renewal and Transition in Switzerland: Evidence from Cleantech, Medtech and the Watch Industry

Applicant Crevoisier Olivier
Number 133256
Funding scheme Project funding (special)
Research institution Groupe de recherche en économie territoriale Institut de sociologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.09.2011 - 31.08.2016
Approved amount 416'903.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Social geography and ecology
Sociology

Keywords (10)

Clusters; Cluster evolution; Cluster life cycles; Knowledge spillovers; Economic geography; Social network analysis; Switzerland; Watch industry; Cleantech; Medical technology

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
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.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Born to be Sold: Start-ups as Products and new Territorial Life Cycles of Industrialization
Livi Christian, Jeannerat Hugues (2015), Born to be Sold: Start-ups as Products and new Territorial Life Cycles of Industrialization, in European Planning Studies, 23(10), 1953-1974.
L'industrie photovoltaïque de Suisse occidentale: un milieu "valuateur" multi-local
Livi Christian, Jeannerat Hugues, Crevoisier Olivier (2015), L'industrie photovoltaïque de Suisse occidentale: un milieu "valuateur" multi-local, in Innovations, 46, 89-113.
From Regional Innovation to Multi-local Valuation Milieus: The case of Western Switzerland photovoltaic industry
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.
Sustainable Innovation and Regional Development: Rethinking Innovative Milieus
Edward Elgar (ed.), Sustainable Innovation and Regional Development: Rethinking Innovative Milieus, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
The territories of sustainable innovation: from local milieus to responsible communication: The case od photovoltaïcs and sustainable finance in Western Switzerland
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.
Transition énergétique et territoire: une approche par le "milieu valuateur"
Huguenin Ariane, Transition énergétique et territoire: une approche par le "milieu valuateur", in Géographie, Economie, Société.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Department of Geography Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
BAW Institut für regionale Wirtschaftsforschung, Bremen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of Agder Norway (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of Glasgow, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Lund University, Department of Social and Ecnomic Geography Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of Hamburg, Institute of Geography Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Charles University Prague Czech Republic (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Vienna Institute of Economics and Business Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
EAWAG, Dübendorf Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Third Geography of Innovation Conference 2016 Talk given at a conference Institutionalizing demonstration: Lever of territorial development in a context of energy transition 28.01.2016 Toulouse, France Huguenin Ariane;
Conférence de l'ASRDLF: "Mutations territoriales, développement territorial durable et nouvelles gouvernances" Talk given at a conference Les politiques territoriales de la transition: les forums hybrides dans la politique cleantech en Suisse 17.10.2014 Iasi, Romania Crevoisier Olivier; Huguenin Ariane;
Conférence annuelle de l'Association de science régionale de langue française (ASRDLF) "Métropolisation, cohésion et performances: Quel futur pour nos territoires?" Talk given at a conference Des politiques de compétitivité aux politiques de valeur? 07.07.2014 Paris, France Huguenin Ariane; Crevoisier Olivier;
Geography of Innovation 2014 Talk given at a conference Beyond clusters, the rise of territorial valuation policies? 23.01.2014 Utrecht, Netherlands Huguenin Ariane; Crevoisier Olivier;
Les politiques publiques d’innovation et de recherche au défi d’une transition durable Talk given at a conference The Photovoltaic Industry in Western Switzerland: the Emergence of a Multi-local Valuation Milieu? - De l'état régulateur à l'état co-créateur 28.08.2013 Belfort, France Huguenin Ariane; Livi Christian;
Annual Conference of the Regional Studies Association (RSA): Shape and be Shaped: The Future Dynamics of Regional Development, Tampere, Finland Talk given at a conference Born to be sold: Start-ups as products, listed groups as buyers. Corporate venturing and local anchoring in Swiss medical technologies 06.05.2013 Tampere, Finland Livi Christian; Crevoisier Olivier;
Shape and be Shaped: The Future Dynamics of Regional Development Talk given at a conference Born to be sold: start-ups as products, MNEs as buyers 05.05.2013 Tampere, Finland Livi Christian; Crevoisier Olivier; Huguenin Ariane;
INSEAD, Business breakfast 2013 Individual talk How to revive (old and new) industries? The case of the Swiss Watchmaking 28.02.2013 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Crevoisier Olivier;
Hosei University Symposium 2013 Individual talk Cultural resources, creative industries and the Territorial staging system 31.01.2013 Tokyo, Japan Crevoisier Olivier;
Enjeux interdisciplinaires émergents pour comprendre, projeter et fabriquer la ville de demain Individual talk La ville, scène de l'innovation ? 16.01.2013 Paris-Est, France Crevoisier Olivier;
How can Regions enhance Europe's Innovation Union Agenda commitments? Talk given at a conference Territorial market construction of medtech in Western Switzerland 11.10.2012 Porto, Portugal Crevoisier Olivier; Livi Christian; Huguenin Ariane;
Regional Science Association (RSA) conference: "How to govern fundamental Sustainability transition processes?" Talk given at a conference Governing transition through hybrid forums: the case of cleantech demonstration projects in Switzerland 10.07.2012 St Gall, Switzerland Huguenin Ariane;
Industrie, ville et régions dans une économie mondialisée Talk given at a conference Construction du marché et valeurs sociales: quels nouveaux acteurs, quels enjeux territoriaux? 09.07.2012 Belfort, France Crevoisier Olivier; Livi Christian;
Political economy and the outlook for capitalism Talk given at a conference Market construction and social value : New Actors and New Territorial Issues? 05.07.2012 Paris, France Livi Christian;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop final organisé par l'European Science Foundation 15.09.2014 Kiel, Germany
GREMI-T II Workshop (ASLInn) « Anchorage, sustainability and localisation of innovation: towards new forms of territorialisation of economic activities? ». 24.01.2012 Paris, France

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
INNO-Futures: What possible futures for territorial development and innovation policy? Workshop 26.11.2015 Bern, Switzerland Crevoisier Olivier;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
INNO-Futures (SNF-Agora)-Prospective workshop 3: Du modèle de base à l’exportation vers une politique d’innovation et de localisation pour les consommateurs. 04.05.2015 Olten, Switzerland
INNO-Futures (SNF-Agora)-Prospective workshop 2: Des politiques d’innovation ne suffisent pas ! Concevons des politiques de valuation! 11.02.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland
INNO-Futures (SNF-Agora)-Prospective workshop 1: Les politiques reposent sur des frontières. L’innovation est débordement ! 12.11.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Plateformes d’intermédiation : quelles logiques, quels enjeux et quelles territorialités? 06.06.2013 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
164784 Théâtre de la connaissance IV: Territoire 01.03.2016 Agora
158536 Economic, institutional and cultural factors of movement and regional anchoring of the work-force and skills: evidence from Switzerland and Bulgaria 01.11.2014 International short research visits
151507 INNO-FUTURES - Territorial innovation approaches, practices and policies: What futures? 01.03.2014 Agora

Abstract

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.
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