Introduction

Economic geography is simultaneously global and local. This is what several authors have called the cluster paradox: a global economy, more complex and relying on a knowledge economy, gives a more significant role to locations. Therefore, economic geography is characterized by specialization and dispersion. A number of metropolitan areas, each of them specialized in a range of activities, seems a far more productive industrial organization than one that relies on one or two large diversified cities [POR 98]. Ecosystems are thus forms of organization that tend to multiply.

We can think about innovation and production ecosystems (to make things easier, we merge this notion with the concept of clusters) in terms of the following points. First, the literature provides several definitions. Porter’s definition is the most quoted:

“Geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions (e.g. universities, standards agencies, trade associations) in a particular field that compete but also cooperate” [POR 00, p. 15].

The definition of cluster includes two aspects: on the one hand, the spatial dimension evoked by the idea of geographic concentrations and, on the other hand, the technological-economic dimension conjured by the idea of industries functionally related through companies that are involved at all stages of the value chain. In the same work, Porter redefines the ...

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