How Is a Regional Technology Cluster Created?: Insight from the Construction of the Nanotech Cluster in Grenoble.

D. Vinck, S.V. Ramani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


A technology cluster refers to a regional enclave where the generation of technological innovations is far higher than the local, national or international average. On one hand, they can be constructed through a state initiative in the form of a science and technology park. On the other hand, they can emerge in an endogenous fashion through the concerted efforts of institutional and economic actors. An example of the latter is the famous "silicon valley" phenomenon during the 1950s in informatics. Some other examples of successful technology clusters in emerging countries are Beijing, Bangalore, São Paulo, Campinas, Buenos Aires, etc. Yet, in many countries technology clusters fail to emerge and very few science and technology parks have earned renown. This leads to a puzzle: besides public investment, what are the conditions that favor the emergence of a successful technology cluster? The present chapter seeks to answer such questions through the analysis of a success story — namely the nanoscience and nanotechnology (NST) cluster in Grenoble. Through the construction of this case study, our larger purpose is to identify the parameters that give rise to a collective activity between a variety of scientific and economic actors that creates new knowledge, new technology, and innovations in a region.

Innovation studies of high-tech sectors like microelectronics, telecommunications, and biotechnology propose the Sábato triangle (Sábato, 1975) and the "Triple Helix Model" to identify universities, the state and knowledge intensive firms as the core team leading the construction of a technological capacity building (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanotechnology and Development: What's in It for Emerging Countries?
Editors S.V. Ramani
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9781139794664
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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