Clusters and crises
A recently published paper written by TIK-researcher Taran Thune and Asgeir Skålholt (at NIFU) analyzes the role clusters can play in coping with the impacts of economic crises, specifically by addressing how the Norwegian cluster organizations have acted to meet the challenges following the economic crises in Norway in the period 2008–2010.
The paper investigates whether cluster maturity influences how clusters act in response to a crisis. To shed light on these questions, survey data from Norwegian cluster organizations was collected in two waves (spring 2009 and autumn 2010), and case studies of four cluster organizations provide further detail. The data indicate that clusters play a role in reducing uncertainty and improving access to necessary resources in crises periods. The data indicate that these advantages are not only due to increased collaboration between firms within the cluster, but that cluster organizations engage in considerable lobbying on behalf of their firms towards regional and national policy makers and funding bodies. When comparing the impact of the crisis in mature and emerging clusters, as well as their adaptation strategies, the data show that more mature clusters adapted to recent crises by implementing new innovation strategies and increasing collaboration and competence-building activities, to a greater extent than emerging clusters.
The paper is available for download here