This paper introduces a new approach for the definition of innovation
clusters, based on the co-location of concentrated patenting and
manufacturing activity in the EU. The incorporation of data on both the
production and use of technologies results in an indicator that depicts
both formal and informal modes of innovation and conditions which can be
expected to be conducive to the generation, diffusion and absorption of
innovation, and consequently the enhancement of competitiveness. Our
findings indicate that certain types of patenting and manufacturing
activity tend to co-locate. The sectoral-technological composition of
the three types of concentrations observed points towards a higher level
of diversity than one would expect in the case of narrow specialisation.
Applying the new indicator in a test of the often hypothesised benefits
of innovative clustering, we find that the identified clusters have
consistently higher wages in the sectors concerned.
JEL Classification: O30, R12, L60
Keywords: Innovation, clusters, regional studies, patenting, manufacturing