Purpose: The essay aims at identifying the role of local government in supporting R&D efforts and knowledge transfer mechanisms and diffusion practices within the biotechnology clusters in the Flanders and Wallonia regions (local knowledge exchange and learning), as well as the role of informal interaction between the cluster actors.
Methodology: The main research method chosen for this study was qualitative analysis,
based on interviews with a series of researchers, academic scientists and technology
transfer officers from the Flanders and Wallonia regions. This was undertaken in September-October 2011 as a part of the COST/STRIKE initiative of the European Commission.
Findings: The high patent dynamics within the biotechnology sector is explained
by growing investments into R&D, highly qualified human capital, and geographical
factors such as cluster development. The answers of interviewed experts confirm
the view that the importance of geography should differ by technology type. The importance grows quickly for technologies undergoing radical innovations. Regional policy should therefore focus on promoting innovation through R&D support, improving the quality of human capital and the overall business environment (cluster).