While the cluster concept is not new and remains a much debated subject in economic literature, policy makers around the world heavily support cluster initiatives and adapted the traditional and more industry-based model to a more science-based one. The general idea of clustering is that location of firms and related institutions in proximity to one another fosters specialisation as well as collaboration and, in this way, competitiveness and innovativeness of the related firms, industries, and regions. This presentation examines the question, whether the industry-based cluster model indeed provides a suitable foundation for the creation of science-based clusters. We will therefore assess the assumed and possible contributions of both cluster types, point out significant differences of both forms, and discuss the consequences by applying a different theoretical approach with regard to science-based clusters. Japanese and German cluster initiatives, especially those in the fields of Bio- and Nanotechnology, will be compared and used as examples.<-p>
Short CV: Per Larsen is a PhD candidate and research fellow at the Chair of Japanese Economy at Goethe-University Frankfurt He is currently in Japan as a Japan Foundation Fellow to conduct interviews with researchers and representatives of clusters, cluster evaluation committees and ministries.