chapter  2
42 Pages

Innovative Clusters and Innovation Processes in the

WithStuttgart Region

It is somewhat surprising that Stuttgart, together with world cities like London or Paris, is among the ten European innovation ‘islands’ which have dominated the innovation process in Europe for decades. Hilpert (1994) has called these islands the Archipelago of Europe. Simmie (1999) argues persuasively, in line with the explanation of the traditional agglomeration economies, ‘that size matters’. Scale advantages in large cities, urbanisation and localisation economies are seen as the main reasons for the clustering of innovative activities in metropolitan regions. Stuttgart is, compared with London and Paris, a much smaller agglomeration. It is therefore surprising that Stuttgart seems to be able to compete with these big international cities in the field of innovation. The fact that Stuttgart is one of these innovative cities in Europe also seems to be astonishing for another reason: large metropolitan regions have increasingly become service economies, but the economic structures of the Stuttgart region are, at the end of the twentieth century, still strongly dominated by manufacturing industry. The aim of this chapter is to identify the specific urban assets Stuttgart has, which can be considered as explanatory factors for the continuing innovative and competitive strengths of the metropolitan region.