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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Imaging
  • Photonics
  • Berlin
  • Optical
  • Laser
  • Technologies
  • Optics
  • Microsystems
  • Components
  • Brandenburg

2.2 Network and

2.2 Network and Cluster Development Analysis of the network and cluster development in the field of optical technologies and microsystems technology in Berlin and Brandenburg Frank Lerch, Gerrit Rössler Location factor agglomeration One of the most important decisions for a company is that of location. In particular, the productivity of an enterprise is influenced by the local context (cf. Porter 1990). This includes, for example, the intensity of competition, the availability of input factors (labor, capital, resources, infrastructure, etc.), demand conditions, and the presence of related or supporting industries (suppliers, users, service providers, etc.) in the region. Crucial to the success of a company is the interplay of these factors. According to modern cluster theories, the intensity of this interaction increases with spatial proximity. Therefore, exchange processes work best where specific industries are geographically concentrated. Optical technologies and microsystems technology are sciencebased industries, which particularly depend on interaction with research institutions on the one hand and users on the other. The proximity of the actors promotes the transfer of knowledge from science to industry and vice versa by minimizing costs related to the interaction. But also direct contact with competitors is an important flow of information (so-called spillover effects) and is therefore also a source of innovation. Especially young companies benefit greatly from the interaction potential and the wide range of specific services. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that at certain locations in the Berlin-Brandenburg region one can find a cluster of actors, sometimes having a long tradition (see figures 1 and 2 and chapter 4). The high density of actors offers best premises for complex cooperative relationships between local companies and research institutions. To increase this crosslinking intensity is an important consideration in the development of the site. Network development within the cluster Prompted by the national initiative to promote optical technologies (Heybrock / Brinkmann 2000), by the funding program Optical Technologies of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Heybrook et al., 2002), as well as by the technology and regional development activities of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, in 2001 the field of optical technologies was begun to be strategically networked and to undergo a reflexive network and cluster development. On the one hand, these were built on existing (network) structures existing in the region, on existing institutions, as well as on the technological competencies of local enterprises and research institutions, and on the other hand entirely new structures were created. This includes in particular the establishment of the association OpTecBB which, as an umbrella network, supports the relevant networking activities in the region ever since. In addition, optical technologies and the closely associated microsystems technology were, within the framework of the joint innovation strategy in Berlin and Brandenburg (innoBB), declared a cluster eligible for funding. Following the strategy of reflexive network and cluster development, in particular various networking activities to promote vertical integration along the value-added activities already existing in the region and also the horizontal networking, e.g. in the pre-competitive phase, were performed. Figure 1: Science and industry sites of the photonics cluster in Brandenburg Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH 16

2.2 Network and Cluster Development Figure 3: Technological focus groups in the web of relations in OpTecBB in 2006 Source: Lerch, 2009, 222 Figure 4: Relations between the actors in the field of optical technologies in 2000 Source: Lerch, 2009, 218 Critical mass To estimate the dynamics of development of a regional cluster, qualified statements can only be made after detailed analysis of the situation in the investigated clusters. From statistical data on numbers of employees and the number of companies, the absolute size of the cluster can be determined and absolute and / or relative rates of change can be calculated and analyzed (Krätke / Scheuplein, 2001). Accompanying the reflexive network and cluster development, the development dynamics were originally evaluated by OpTecBB (Hornauer 2002), between 2003 and 2007 by the research group Enterprise Networks (Prof. Sydow), and more recently by the TSB Innovation Agency (TSB 2008; TSB 2010, chapter 2.1 of this report). A critical mass of organizations could be demonstrated in these studies. Networked actors One of the weaknesses of most network and cluster analyses is the lack of original linkage analyses, caused by the fact that researchers, analysts and advisors generally have difficulties to access information on regional supplier and buyer relationships. The network analysis (Jansen, 2003) provides a methodology to study relational data. It is still a relatively new method that is increasingly used for the identification and analysis of regional industry clusters and to analyze the inherent linkages between cluster organizations. The relationships among OpTecBB members, based on telephone interviews with nearly all OpTecBB members, are displayed using common analysis and display methods of modern network research (see figure 3), and permit identification not only of central and peripheral actors but also of sub-networks. Comparison of OpTecBB’s network structure in 2006 with the relationships among (almost) the same number of organizations in 2000 (see figure 4), i.e. one year before the start of the systematic cluster development process, shows how much the network density – and thereby the innovation potential – has increased over the course of just five years of systematic cluster development. Figure 2: Science and industry sites of the photonics cluster in Berlin Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH 17

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