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New Approaches to Predicting Cluster Emergence

Gerd Meier zu Köcker/ Matthias Künzel/ Michael Nerger

This paper introduces a new approach to predicting emerging clusters more effectively through the regional mapping and clustering of applied R&D activities. The methodology is based on the assumption that if a critical mass of regional actors independently invests in a same new area, with the objective of developing new products, technologies and services with high cross-sectoral innovation potential, this will likely lead to an emerging industry and the formation of a new cluster – once these products and technologies are successfully commercialised. The paper successfully verifies this approach by considering e-mobility cluster development in Germany. It also shows where traditional automotive clusters are transforming and becoming e-mobility clusters and where entirely new e-mobility clusters are emerging. Furthermore, although e-mobility is still an emerging industry, regional specialisation patterns are already becoming visible in Germany.

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