Clusterpreneurs - promotion of high-tech clusters in low-tech regions

Jesper Lindgaard Christensen, Dagmara Störring

Research output: Working paperResearch

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Despite the importance of human resources and the role of policy actors, research on cluster development and even cluster policy has generally not revealed a more precise specification of this role. This article contributes to this debate by focusing on and substantiating the concept of ‘clusterpreneurs’, defined as important actors in cluster formation.3 Thus, a clusterpreneur is here regarded as a key actor in the emergence of clusters. We argue that active clusterpreneurs are relatively more important in less favored regions, and that different clusterpreneurs may act effectively in different institutional settings and in different phases of cluster evolution. The article thus contributes to the existing literature in that it combines the actors perspective and the incorporation of regional specificities in the analysis of how clusters may be promoted. Moreover, dilemmas inherent in this combination are highlighted.
We illustrate the role of clusterpreneurs by the example of a biomedical technology cluster initiative in North Jutland, Denmark, which has many of the characteristics of a peripheral region. The example could be said to be a typical case of a policy-driven cluster initiative. However, we show how the presence of clusterpreneurs comprising a diverse set of actors, spanning both the public and private spheres, can make such an initiative more effective. Moreover, we claim that this region may deviate from the usual picture of less favored regions as having poor social capital and coherence. This may provide an important condition for the further development of the cluster.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherInstitut for Erhvervsstudier, Aalborg Universitet
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978879164617
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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