The Development of Technology Cluster Innovation Performance: Health and Sustainable Energy

P.E. Stek

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

26 Downloads (Pure)


Motivation. The sustainability technology sectors, encompassing health and sustainable energy technology, play a critically important role in addressing global challenges such as climate change and ageing populations, which require a transition to a low or zero-carbon energy system, and sustainable and affordable healthcare. While these problems cannot be resolved by technological solutions alone, technology plays an important part in addressing them. Innovation, climate change, public health and the need for sustainable industrialization and economic growth are also part of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, further highlighting their global importance. Another motivation for the study, specifically from a European perspective, is a concern over the long-term economic competitiveness of Europe, which appears to be lagging behind the United States and certain Asian countries. This concern is a driver of the European Union’s current science and technology policy, including its multi-billion euro Horizon Europe initiative and Smart Specialization strategies for European regions. Research Question and Knowledge Gaps. The main research question addressed in this dissertation is: How are the dynamic spatial distribution and innovation performance patterns of sustainability technology clusters influenced by cluster characteristics, such as agglomeration and knowledge networks, and sectoral differences? Although there is an extensive literature on evolutionary economic geography, innovation systems, and global innovation diffusion, these theories often lack specificity with regard to particular technology sectors. Relatively little is known about the spatial distribution, cluster characteristics, and cluster innovation performance in the sustainability technology sectors. There are three main knowledge gaps: (i) the global spatial distribution and knowledge networks of technology clusters and their changes over time, (ii) the association between cluster innovation performance and various cluster characteristics, and (iii) the extent to which the aforementioned factors are influenced by socio-technological transitions and other sectoral differences. These knowledge gaps are addressed with a novel empirical approach to cluster identification, the measurement of cluster characteristics and the modeling of innovation performance…
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Geenhuizen, M.S., Supervisor
  • van Beers, C.P., Supervisor
Award date13 May 2022
Electronic ISBNs978-94-6384-330-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • innovation
  • Clusters
  • Health
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Patents
  • Bibliometric Analysis
  • Spatial Analysis


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