Systemic intermediaries and the transition toward forest-based bioeconomy in the North
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionKlitkou, A., Jolly, S. & Suvinen, N. (2020). Systemic intermediaries and the transition toward forest-based bioeconomy in the North. Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, 1-28. 10.1007/s43253-020-00025-0
The activities of cluster initiatives operating as systemic intermediaries and supporting networking activities have been discussed in prior studies. We integrate insights from the cluster theory and the literature on sustainability transitions to study the activities of clusters acting as systemic intermediaries in the different phases of the development of a forest-based bioeconomy, namely (1) predevelopment and exploration; (2) takeoff; (3) acceleration and (4) stabilisation. We study three regional cluster initiatives in three different Nordic regions: forest bioeconomy, Central Finland, Finland; Paper Province, Värmland, Sweden, and Arena Skog, Trøndelag, Norway. The paper highlights that the crises in the forest-based industries in Värmland and Trøndelag were the starting point for forest-based cluster development in these regions, while in Central Finland the development was a part of the general economic restructuring of the Finnish economy during the first phase. In the fourth phase, the discontinuity of developed collaboration structures created opportunities for project-oriented collaboration in the case of Central Finland while in the Värmland and the Trøndelag case, the cluster initiatives have broadened the focus of the cluster but also continued the core activities.