EU-Structural Change, regional Innovation Dynamics and Cluster Development Options in a Knowledge Society (Timeframe 15.12.2008 to 15.07.2010)

In the context of different innovation systems selected cluster regions of the EU are analyzed concerning their innovation dynamics. The research project centers especially on the information and communication technologies as well as the automotive sectors. Those sectors are analyzed concerning regional innovation development trends and the availability of venture capital as well as the role played by social partners.

1. Context / Problem

The project application is to be categorized in the fields of structural change, innovation and labor markets. Processes of spatial or national knowledge diffusion accelerate, which can raise the level of competitiveness, whereby a regional cluster development - with possible international connections - can be an essentiell element of economic growth. Therefore, questions concerning the structural change and the cluster options of a future-oriented regional innovation policy especially in the Bergische City Triangle, in the context of the Lisbon agenda need to the thematized.

A comparative analysis on regional innovation system in the context of selected EU-member countries is conducted whereby especially the background of a harder innovation competitiveness, questions of innovation interconnection, innovation financing and the impact of social partners for an innovative milieu are studied.

2. Main Research Questions

In the literature a number of explanations for the development of clusters and be found; policy makers often refer to this literature. Information and knowledge spillovers are often considered an important factor of the formation of clusters in knowledge society environment. Using a multitude of scientific research methods these spillover effects are measured and a different cluster regions in Europe are compared to each other. Also the role played by different innovation partners for an innovation friendly climate as well as questions regarding th financing of innovation projects are studied. Using selected indicators it is analyzed why some cluster regions report a higher cluster dynamic than others, though their industrial structure is identical. Using the research results policy options are respective advice is deduced leading to a regionally adequat and future-oriented structural change.

3. Methodology

To measure knowledge spillover for example in the form of inventor mobility a social network analysis is conducted, which is backed by an analysis of patent citations.

The social network analysis basicially studies the social relations between different actors in a network (i.e. exchange of information or knowledge). Its main goal lies in the identification of paterns between the different actors.

The method of patent citations is regarded as a major tool of patent analysis. Case Studies complement this analysis.

Using a suitable econometric tool (i.e. panel analysis) the effect of venture capital on growth and innovativeness is estimated. A questionaire for firms in the selected cluster regions is used to get an insight into the role played by social partners in Schumpeters innovative process.

1. Workshop on 17.03.2009

On 17.03.09 in the guest house of the University of Wuppertal the Campus Freudenberg the first workshop in the context of the project was held. Invited were representatives of the Bergische Entwicklungsagentur, IG Metall and Verdi, ZENIT, Hans-Böckler Stiftung and more.

Slides of the transfer workshop of 06.05.2011:

Slides Prof. Welfens

Slides C. Schröder

Slides O. Emons

Slides J. Perret

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