IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Looking for the Core of a Knowledge-based Sea Cluster: A Social Network Analysis in a Maritime Region


  • Hugo Pinto


  • Ana Rita Cruz
  • Pedro Pintassilgo
  • Joao Guerreiro
  • Ana Gonçalves


For more than two decades cluster policies have emerged as a central focus for decision-makers trying to instigate territorial development. The benefits, especially in terms of collective learning, knowledge sharing and other types of agglomeration economies and spill-over effects, are well stressed in the regional science literature. Today the relevance of maritime activities and marine resources to economic development is acknowledged. For several European countries, the Atlantic Ocean is part of their common history, identity and potential for developing advanced economic niches of excellence. There is no surprise that several regions are trying to implement their development strategies based on a broad Sea Cluster notion that encompasses a diversity of economic activities such as fisheries and aquaculture, coastal tourism, marine transports and activities based on marine sciences and maritime technologies. Based on the results of a trans-regional evaluation performed for the Atlantic Area under project KIMERAA, this paper evaluates the consolidation of the Sea Cluster in the Algarve, a Portuguese region internationally known by its coastal tourism. The region has also been experiencing a growing capacity in economic activities linked to marine sciences. This regional cluster did not emerge spontaneously and there are several initiatives to promote it. Interviews to regional actors showed light on two important issues. i) Which organization should be the main mediator to bridge science to market? ii) Who is the actor that is in a better position to assume a pivotal role in the formal consolidation of the cluster? Using social network analysis the main knowledge transfer mediator and the central actors are identified. Their roles and specific policy implications are underlined.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo Pinto & Ana Rita Cruz & Pedro Pintassilgo & Joao Guerreiro & Ana Gonçalves, 2011. "Looking for the Core of a Knowledge-based Sea Cluster: A Social Network Analysis in a Maritime Region," ERSA conference papers ersa11p510, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p510

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Porter, 2003. "The Economic Performance of Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 549-578.
    2. Michael Fritsch & Martina Kauffeld-Monz, 2010. "The impact of network structure on knowledge transfer: an application of social network analysis in the context of regional innovation networks," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(1), pages 21-38, February.
    3. Doloreux, David & Shearmur, Richard, 2009. "Maritime clusters in diverse regional contexts: The case of Canada," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 520-527, May.
    4. Andre Torre & Alain Rallet, 2005. "Proximity and Localization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 47-59.
    5. Anne Ter Wal & Ron Boschma, 2009. "Applying social network analysis in economic geography: framing some key analytic issues," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 43(3), pages 739-756, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p510. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.