Emergence, growth and transformation in local clusters - Environmental industries in the region of Upper Austria

Christoph Höglinger, Tanja Sinozic, Franz Tödtling

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper


The environmental technology industry is considered to be a growing industry driven by
urging climate-, energy- and waste problems and environmental regulation, among others. It
seems, however, that not all locations and regions have the same preconditions for its
emergence and growth. Based on regional economic, geographic and cluster theories it may
be argued that particular factor- and demand conditions, regional industry structures and
institutional configurations should play a role, but so far little is known on these aspects. This
paper focuses on a region in Austria that appears to have a highly developed environmental
technology industry and studies its characteristics and growth. We investigate the region of
Upper Austria, where the environmental technology industry has evolved since the beginning
of 1970s with roots in engineering, machinery, and instruments firms. The aim is to improve
our understanding of the development of the environmental industry in the region and the
factors and conditions affecting it. Characteristic changes of the cluster in relation to national
level industry are addressed. The paper uses findings from national survey data (1993-2007)
and exploratory interviews with local industry experts and stakeholders.
The preliminary findings from our analyses suggest that Upper Austria´s environmental
technology industry is characterized by higher growth relative to the national level. The
region is also the dominant location in Austria in terms of number of firms and employees in
this sector. The sector seems to benefit from existing industries and engineering competences
in the region and is also supported by a number of organizations. Possible factors and
conditions for understanding localized changes are explored underpinning these cluster life
cycle changes. (author's abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameSRE - Discussion Papers

WU Working Paper Series

  • SRE - Discussion Papers

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