Title: Strategic guidance in 'leading-edge' clusters for sustainable business success in future markets

Authors: Björn Sautter; Günter Clar

Addresses: Festo AG & Co. KG, Ruiter Strasse 82, 73734 Esslingen, Germany ' c3-solutions, Im Finkenschlag 9, 70563 Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract: Sustainable business success in a complex and rapidly changing environment strongly relies on systemic and integrative approaches, key to strategically aligned future-oriented research, technology development and innovation (RTDI) activities at multiple levels, from business to networks or clusters to political governance level. We present an integrated, forward-looking and outward-looking approach using a combination of strategic policy intelligence and management tools, which aims at effectively addressing today's complex challenges arising at the various levels. Our case study, the German 'leading-edge' cluster MicroTEC Südwest - an industry-driven, public-private RTDI network with about 350 actors - shows, how politically formulated grand societal challenges can be turned in future market opportunities and business models, and, vice versa, how networks of innovation actors can influence the larger innovation ecosystems towards supporting the development of sustainable economies and societies. Addressing the full 'knowledge triangle' of research, innovation and education is important in this regard.

Keywords: strategic guidance; leading-edge clusters; sustainable business success; future markets; forward- and outward-looking; collaborative innovation; innovation ecosystems; knowledge triangle; general purpose technologies; industry-led investment priorities; grand societal challenges; Germany.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2017.085468

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2017 Vol.11 No.3, pp.243 - 264

Received: 27 Jan 2015
Accepted: 20 Oct 2015

Published online: 28 Jul 2017 *

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