Clusters not relevant to innovation

It’s going to break many hearts around Europe where innovation clusters have been strongly advocated at all levels of policy making but a recent Norwegian study found that a firms international connections were far more important than local clusters. The analysis of 1,604 companies in the five largest Norwegian cities found that regional and national clusters are “irrelevant for innovation.” On the contrary, international cooperation or “global pipelines” were identified as the main drivers of innovation.

“We found interaction through pipelines was as much as four times more powerful than local interaction when it came to innovation,” said Rune Dahl Fitjar of the International Research Institute of Stavanger, who wrote the report with Andres Rodriguez-Pose of the London School of Economics. “The idea about global pipelines has become quite prominent in research over the past few years but you don’t see much of a policy impact yet. We are mainly relying on cluster policies still. Certainly that’s true in most of Europe.”

Source: Haydn Shaughnessy | Innovation Management | March 29, 2011