”GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME?” A study of cluster professionals’ views on the cluster policies’ support to the EU’s concept of “Innovation Union”

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: This research inquires how EU’s Cluster Policies support the EU’s concept of an ‘Innovation Union’ by asking cluster professionals. The EU needs innovation to maintain today’s level of welfare. The European Commission’s maxim is that innovation is the key element for development, endorsing regional policy as a tool to unlock the growth potential. Regional policies have to identify and prioritise areas of Smart Specialisation (RIS3) to build competitive advantage. Clusters offer an integrated approach, both as concept of regional ecosystems of related industries, and as real economic phenomena. Clusters are building blocks of designing and implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies. Clusters, regions and innovation are interdependent. The literature overview deals with Commission communication on EU Policy Framework for clusters and with scientific articles on regional, innovation and cluster policies. These keywords support the research question and characterize the interview questions. Eight interviews were conducted with cluster professionals, from the Commission to local clusters, linking results to the research question.This thesis contributes to the EU’s concept of being ‘Innovation Union’ by analysing three EU ‘policy gaps’ with an unleashed potential of growth for clusters: upturn of the Interreg progamme, an amendment of RIS3, a new cross-sectorial cross-cutting partnership within the EU Urban Agenda. Yet, EU’s cluster policies are indeed getting better all the time supporting the EU’s concept of Innovation Union by reconciliation of two logics of political action, a systemic approach integrating different policies under a joint strategy, and an involving dynamism and knowledge disseminating. This answers the research question.

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