Innovation and knowledge transference in a cluster user-driven innovation perspective – the Inovcluster experience

Teresa Paiva, Cláudia Domingues, Luis P. Andrade


Our purpose with this article is to show the importance of assessing trends and promoting innovation in a real business context, through a cluster ecosystem, mainly composed of micro-enterprises in the agro-industrial Portuguese sector.

As many studies show, Inovcluster (which has 158 associates, from which 120 are enterprises) is also a geographic region cluster, which improves innovation performance of businesses seeking to gain competitiveness and ability to improve their exportations in the agro-industrial Portuguese sector.

The role of the cluster is fundamental to creating a model for knowledge transfer of innovation capacity, interconnecting its institutional, scientific and business associates. This model has to be adapted to the sector and enterprise characteristics, relying in an interconnecting structure which is more or less decentralized according to the mentioned features. Here we present an experience and case study of the Inovcluster ecosystem and its trends and innovation transfer to business value creation, contextualized within the regional strategy for smart specialization.

We have shown how, through the establishment of an Inovcluster network, it is possible to integrate the contribution of different research and academic centres, channelled to assist micro-enterprises by innovating within a geographical constraint.


user driven innovation; value creation; trends; smart specialization strategy; cluster

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