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J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2017, 3(3), 18; (registering DOI)

Cluster policy: insights from the German leading edge cluster competition

RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, Hohenzollernstraße 1/3, 45128 Essen, Germany
ISG – Institut für Sozialforschung und Gesellschaftspolitik GmbH, Weinsbergstraße 190, 50825 Köln, Germany
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Leonhardstraße 59, 8010 Graz, Austria
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Lehrstuhl für VWL/Mikroökonomik, Carl-Zeiß-Strasse 3, 07743 Jena, Germany
University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, Stralsund, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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With its Leading-Edge Cluster Competition (in German: Spitzencluster-Wettbewerb; LECC), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) is supporting innovation clusters in a nationwide contest for the first time. In three waves, 15 cluster initiatives were selected and provided with funds to support them on their way to becoming international leaders in their field of technology. This paper presents the results of empirical studies regarding several important aspects of the LECC. The analysis of network relations shows that the LECC's short-term goal of intensifying or enhancing networking between innovative stakeholders in the cluster regions has been achieved. At the same time, certain types of regional impulses of the LECC can already be observed, primarily an improved visibility of the Leading-Edge Cluster regions and enhanced regional R&D activity. When looking at causal programme effects, we find that the programme increases firm-level R&D expenditure, but also that the programme design influences the programme impulse, e.g. by promoting additional activities of SMEs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rothgang, M.; Cantner, U.; Dehio, J.; Engel, D.; Fertig, M.; Graf, H.; Hinzmann, S.; Linshalm, E.; Ploder, M.; Scholz, A.-M.; Töpfer, S. Cluster policy: insights from the German leading edge cluster competition. J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2017, 3, 18.

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J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. EISSN 2199-8531 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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