Innovation Clusters and Public Policy—The Case of a Research-Driven Cluster in Germany


Regional innovation clusters are spatial concentrations of interconnected firms, suppliers, service providers, state institutions, and research organisation in a particular field of innovation. The stimulation and support of clusters are important agendas for governments and other public actors. Cluster development initiatives are actually an important direction in economic policy, building on earlier efforts in macroeconomic stabilization, privatisation, and market opening, and reducing the costs of doing business. The purpose of this paper is to look on a specific type of innovative clusters in Germany, which are supported by the Fraunhofer Society, one of the leading, partly public-funded organisations for application-oriented research in Europe. Based on an overview over current issues in cluster literature—beginning with Porter 1990 to the point of actual global-value-chain-approach and the concept of knowledge hubs—the particular cluster approach of the German Fraunhofer Society is classified with regard to the academic literature. Fraunhofer clusters are, in the first instance, project clusters compared to simple communication networks. The case study presented in this paper is a valid example for a long-term and well-established industry cluster, which actually opens out in a project-oriented cluster approach. Finally, it is possible to draw practical implications for policy makers and industry regarding the support of regional innovation clusters.

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Mauroner, O. (2015) Innovation Clusters and Public Policy—The Case of a Research-Driven Cluster in Germany. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 5, 736-747. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.512072.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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