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The Role of Clusters in the Regional Policy of the Czech Republic

Skokan, Karel (2007): The Role of Clusters in the Regional Policy of the Czech Republic. Published in: Conference Proceedings. 2nd Central European Conference in Regional Science (10 October 2007): pp. 955-962.

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Regional, industry, innovative and knowledge-based clusters have become popular and important policy tools to boost economic development and competitiveness at regional level. The expectations of their role is still growing as it can be seen in the statements of official documents of European Union concerning social and economic cohesion or competitiveness and innovation programmes and also in many national and regional strategic documents of member states. The cluster development dilemma appeared in many CEE countries. On the one hand clusters are business or industry driven, on the other hand the cluster initiatives for starting cluster-based policies are mostly public sector driven. The public sector has in the past often tried to develop clusters directly. Now it appears that its role may prove more effective in providing the infrastructure on which clusters can grow. The Czech Republic adopted the comprehensive approach to cluster-based policies which are incorporated in different national and regional strategies focused not only to regional development but to business and innovation support as well. The analysis of cluster-based interventions in different types of strategic documents is presented in the paper.

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