19th EAEPE Conference, Universidade do Porto, 1-3 November 2007.
(Revised version, 10-09-2007)
INNOVATION CLUSTERS AND NETWORKS: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE RECENT LITERATURE
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The academic interest in innovation clusters and networks has given rise to a vast stream of works in recent years. Besides defining the notions of clusters and innovation clusters or networks, a core topic within the literature relates to the analysis of the logics underlying the emergence, the structuring and the evolution of innovative activities within various geographic areas. But despite the large amount of efforts deployed, there are no consensual views amongst academics on various conceptual and analytical key issues, especially as regarding the spatial/geographical boundaries of an innovation cluster and the nature and intensity of the actors interaction that characterize it. The whole picture is also blurred as a persistent “disciplinary segregation” prevent from integrating the most valuable and converging insights that could be drawn from various yet complementary social sciences perspectives. The paper offers a critical survey of the most visible pieces of the literature and suggests some possible pathways for a better analytical grounding of clustering and networking phenomena within innovative or creative fields.
Key words: Innovation Clusters and Networks; Spatial Scales; Emergence and Structuring
EAEPE Research Areas:
O: Economy, Society, Territory
D: Innovation and Technological Change
∗ Associate Professor of Economics, Université des Sciences et technologies de Lille; Researcher at Clersé-
Ifresi-CNRS, Lille; Research Associate of Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne, CNRS and Université de Paris 1
– Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris.
Postal Address: Faculté des Sciences Economiques et Sociales, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille,
Bâtiment SH2, Cité Scientifique – 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France.
Phone: ++ 33 3 20 33 66 17 & ++ 33 1 44 07 81 63.
Email: Abdel.Hamdouch@univ-lille1.fr ; firstname.lastname@example.org