Title: How benchmarking can lever cluster competitiveness

Authors: Phil Cooke

Addresses: Centre for Advanced Studies, Cardiff University, UK

Abstract: New international trade theory postulates intra-industry trade as a major component. Regarding research as a traded item, this is complex as it can be both intra- and inter-industry trade, a problem for future industry classifications. However, research trade from university centres of excellence and research institutes is now a major feature of territorial competition. The example of this to be discussed, mainly theoretically, but with supporting evidence, relates to intra-factor translocation by transnational corporations (TNCs) in pharmaceutical and agro-food biotechnology. Whereas the prime mover in spatial structure became the TNC and its internal and international divisions of labour that created economic geography to a large extent, this had declined significantly by 2004 in pharmaceuticals though less so in agro-food. Now, in biopharmaceuticals, the prime mover is the key university, its research capabilities, specialist fund-attracting Centres of Excellence, and entrepreneurship in dedicated biotechnology firms (DBFs).

Keywords: industry clusters; competitiveness; entrepreneurship; innovation; knowledge networks; proximity; regions; trade; pharmaceutical industry; research institutes; agro-food biotechnology; biopharmaceuticals; university research; centres of excellence; transnational corporations; TNCs; multinational corporations; MNCs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2007.012715

International Journal of Technology Management, 2007 Vol.38 No.3, pp.292 - 320

Published online: 10 Mar 2007 *

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