Emergence, growth and transformation in local clusters - Environmental industries in the region of Upper Austria
The environmental technology industry is considered to be a growing industry driven by urging climate-, energy- and waste problems and environmental regulation, among others. It seems, however, that not all locations and regions have the same preconditions for its emergence and growth. Based on regional economic, geographic and cluster theories it may be argued that particular factor- and demand conditions, regional industry structures and institutional configurations should play a role, but so far little is known on these aspects. This paper focuses on a region in Austria that appears to have a highly developed environmental technology industry and studies its characteristics and growth. We investigate the region of Upper Austria, where the environmental technology industry has evolved since the beginning of 1970s with roots in engineering, machinery, and instruments firms. The aim is to improve our understanding of the development of the environmental industry in the region and the factors and conditions affecting it. Characteristic changes of the cluster in relation to national level industry are addressed. The paper uses findings from national survey data (1993-2007) and exploratory interviews with local industry experts and stakeholders. The preliminary findings from our analyses suggest that Upper Austria´s environmental technology industry is characterized by higher growth relative to the national level. The region is also the dominant location in Austria in terms of number of firms and employees in this sector. The sector seems to benefit from existing industries and engineering competences in the region and is also supported by a number of organizations. Possible factors and conditions for understanding localized changes are explored underpinning these cluster life cycle changes. (author's abstract)
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|Date of creation:||2012|
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