Regional development

Specialisation, Regional Clusters and Competitiveness – Regional Strategies Study


The specific aim of the Regional Strategy Study being undertaken by OECD in co-operation with the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth – Nutek, is to deepen the understanding of regional strategies and to compare how regions are reacting to the challenges of globalisation and changes in production systems, and within this, what steps they are taking to preserve or transform their current regional economic "portfolios". The ultimate objective will be to ascertain to what extent public policy can play an effective role in (re)shaping the economic future.

The study will focus on regional governance/strategies (including cluster strategies) for supporting/developing regional specialisation in the automotive sector, the information and communications technology sector and the biotechnology sector, addressing questions such as: Is there a unifying general economic development strategy for the region? If so, is it sector-neutral or targeted to support key sectors? If sectors are targeted, what are the main characteristics of the instruments (e.g. cluster policies) used?

The project will also address issues such as the shift from production oriented regional economies that focus on upstream activities; the implications of dependence on multinationals within a regional economy; and the local impact of investment in R&D in a global economy.


To address these questions, the study will look at approximately 12 regions in both OECD countries and non-OECD countries such as China and Brazil. Proposed regions for the three sectors are the following:

  • Automotive - Gothenburg/Vastra Gotaland, Turin, Detroit and Shanghai
  • Biotechnology - Stockholm/Sodermanland, Northern Switzerland, Montreal and Shanghai
  • Information and communications technology - Stockholm/Kista, Noord-Brabant/Eindhoven, Ottawa and Recife

Each sector will be coordinated by an external consultant (a so called “Sector Coordinator”) with extensive knowledge about the sector and regional governance issues.

Key elements of the project are the following:

  • Data-Collection/Self-Assessment – Regional stakeholders will prepare a short "Self-Assessment" on the basis of standard questions determined by the Sector Coordinator and OECD/Nutek.
  • Review Mission – A review mission of 1-2 days will be carried out by the Sector Coordinator and the OECD/Nutek Project Team staff to discuss the Data-Collection/Self-Assessment and gather additional information.
  • Regional Strategies Report – based on a global outlook (produced by the OECD's International Futures Programme), self-assessments, missions and other relevant information. The report will be written by the Sector Coordinator.
  • Final report - The three Regional Strategies Reports will be integrated into a final Regional Strategies Report with policy recommendations of general value for all OECD countries.


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