Cross-specialisation policy: rationales and options for linking unrelated industries
In this article Matthijs J. Janssen and Koen Frenken discuss how economies’ established stronghold industries can form a basis for sustaining competitiveness.
As changing market circumstances demand economic strongholds to stay adaptive, their knowledge bases need to be enriched continuously. Previous research has shown that experimentation based on bridging rich knowledge bases provides important opportunities for diversification. Inspired by insights from evolutionary economic geography, we argue why, rather than (only) focusing on related variety, economies should ‘cross-specialise’ by creating linkages between strong but unrelated industries. We discuss how policy makers can facilitate uncommon interactions by targeting cross-over industries or creating platform-like interfaces.
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