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Towards a framework for the evaluation of policies of cluster upgrading and innovation


  • Marco Bellandi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Florence)

  • Annalisa Caloffi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Florence)


In the current scenario, a large and growing number of policies for local development and cluster upgrading explicitly incorporate the idea of innovation as a systemic process, embedded in specific socio-cultural and institutional contexts and intermingled with international challenges, opportunities, and strategies. These policies bring new challenges to the activities of analysis and evaluation: despite the diffusion of a systemic approach both in innovation thinking and in innovation policies, a proper system-based framework for the analysis and evaluation of these policies is far from being achieved (Bellandi and Caloffi, 2010). Trying to advance our reflection on this field, we propose some exemplifications on a quite delimited set of contexts, i.e. those of industrial districts (Italian, in particular), characterized by SMEs clusters facing contemporary globalization challenges. Focusing on innovation policies aimed at supporting functional upgrading of districts and clusters soaked in changing international filières and value chains, the paper discusses the meaning of evaluation of industrial policies when a systemic perspective is considered. On such premises a couple of exemplifications are illustrate some features of appropriate evaluation methods. Finally, some methodological aspects concerning the design process of evaluation activities are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Bellandi & Annalisa Caloffi, 2009. "Towards a framework for the evaluation of policies of cluster upgrading and innovation," Working Papers 0906, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
  • Handle: RePEc:cme:wpaper:0906

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    Evaluation of policies; systemic approaches to evaluation; innovation and cluster policies; industrial districts;

    JEL classification:

    • L59 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Other
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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