Green Clusters as New Cooperation Strategy for Cleantech Companies



This chapter discusses green clusters, a new form of economic network in the domain of environmental-friendly businesses, as a cooperation strategy for companies. Cleantech companies, also referred to as green companies or environmental businesses, are companies offering products and services that have a sustainable positive impact on the environment. As technological innovation leads to the development of such businesses, and as green activities often require high expenses, companies became interested in establishing green clusters. By being part of the cluster, cleantech companies could achieve technological synergy, attract financial support, and collaborate with the governmental sector in order to support their activities. This article analyzes the trends in green clusters’ characteristics and how they can represent a successful cooperation strategy for the green business sector. The methodology used is composed of previous case studies, regarding cleantech businesses and green clusters, as well as a survey performed by the authors. This was conducted on 11 green cluster administrators and individual cluster members. Also, public information of another 70 green clusters, related to cluster members, cluster activities, and other characteristics has been studied. The results of this analysis helped us identify main trends in the green clusters’ field and how they would form a successful corporate strategy.


Green energy Alternative fuel sources Change mangagement Green clusters 



The authors would like to thank the following cluster members for their kind support in carrying out the research for this chapter: Environmental Business Cluster, Ekogen, EcoConnect CIC, EnviroCLUSTER, Eco World Styria, Solar Valley Mitteldeutschland, Green Energy, ROSENC, Swiss Cleantech Cluster, OREEC, Progetto Manifattura.


  1. Borlaug N (1970) The green revolution, peace, and humanity, Nobel Lecture, Dec 11Google Scholar
  2. Burtis PR, Epstein B, Parker N (2006) Creating cleantech clusters: 2006 update. How innovation and investment can promote job growth and a healthy environment. Available at
  3. Cato MS, Arthur L, Keenoy T, Smith R (2008) Entrepreneurial energy. Associative entrepreneurship in the renewable energy sector in Wales. Int J Entrepreneurial Behav Res 14(5):313–329. Available at
  4. Charmichael F (2005) A guide to game theory. Pearson Education Ltd, EssexGoogle Scholar
  5. Ceglie G (2003) Cluster and network development: examples and lessons from UNIDO experience, pp 6Google Scholar
  6. Cleantech Group (2011) Top 10 cleantech cluster organizations in 2010, published on on March 24, 2011
  7. Cleantech Group (2012) Coming clean: The global cleantech innovation index 2012Google Scholar
  8. Commission Green Paper (2006) "A European strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy" [COM(2006) 105]Google Scholar
  9. Community Framework for State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation (2006/C323/01). Official J Euro UnionGoogle Scholar
  10. De Man AP (2004) The network economy: strategy, structure and management. Edward Elgar PublishingGoogle Scholar
  11. Dikeman N, (2008) What is clean tech? August 10. Available at
  12. Doloreux D, Parto S (2004) Regional innovation systems: a critical review. Available at
  13. 23 June 2010Google Scholar
  14. Engel JS, del Palacio I (2009) Global networks of clusters of innovation: accelerating the innovation process. Bus Horiz 52:493–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Etzkowitz H (2002) MIT and the rise of entrepreneurial science. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freel M, Harrison R (2006) Innovation and co-operation in the small firm sector: evidence from ‘Northern Britain’, Regional Studies 40(4):289–305Google Scholar
  17. Hendrickson LU, Tuttle DB (1997) Dynamic management of the environmental enterprise: a qualitative analysis, J Organ Change Manag 10(4):363–382Google Scholar
  18. Jaegersberg G, Ure J (2011) Barriers to knowledge sharing and stakeholder alignment in solar energy clusters: learning from other sectors and regions. J Strateg Inf Syst 20(4):343–354Google Scholar
  19. Jing R, Yu J (2007) The research on sustainable development of enterprises cluster based on recycling economy. International conference on management science and engineering, August. Available at
  20. Johnson MW, Suskewicz J (2009) How to jump-start the clean-tech economy. Harvard Bus RevGoogle Scholar
  21. Kaltschmitt M, Streicher W, Wiese A (2007) Renewable Energy: Technology, Economics and Environment. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  22. Kraft L (2006) Entwicklung räumicher Cluster. Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  23. Linnanen L (2002) An insider's experiences with environmental entrepreneurship 38:71–80Google Scholar
  24. Markusen A (1996) Sticky places in slippery space: a typology of industrial districts. Econ Geogr 72(3):293–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Molloy C (2007) IBM data centers-implementation of project big green. Available at
  26. Nidumolu R, Prahalad CK, Rangaswami MR (2011) Why sustainability is now the key driver for innovation, published in Harvard Business Review on greening your business profitably. The Harvard Business Review paperback series, Harvard Business School Publishing, pp 1–21Google Scholar
  27. Nixon J (2009) Sustainable economic development: initiatives, programs, and strategies for cities and regions. Urban Sustainability Associates. Available at
  28. Porter M (1990) The competitive advantage of nations. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  29. Porter M (1998a) Clusters and the new economics of competition, 76(6). Harvard Business Review, Boston, pp 77–90Google Scholar
  30. Porter M (1998b) Clusters and competition: new agendas for companies, governments, and institutions, Harvard Business Review, from On Competition. Harvard Business School Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  31. Potter J, Miranda G (2009) Clusters, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. OECD, pp 14–16, 44Google Scholar
  32. Schaper M (2002) The essence of ecopreneurship. Greener Manag Int 38:26–30Google Scholar
  33. Scheer G, von Zallinger L (2007) Cluster management: a practical guide. Part One: Overview, GTZ, Croatia. Available at
  34. St John CH, Pouder RW (2006) Technology clusters versus industry clusters: resources, networks, and regional advantages. Growth Change 37(2):141–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tantau AD (2011) Ghid de buna practica pentru clustere si retele de firme. Print Group, BucharestGoogle Scholar
  36. Tantau AD, Chinie A (2012) Green clusters as a new business model for Central and Eastern Europe, vol 4. 12th International multidisciplinary scientific geoconference, conference proceedings, pp 449–506Google Scholar
  37. Thompson AA, Strickland AJ, Gamble JE (2009) Crafting and executing strategy—The quest for competitive advantage—Concepts and cases, 17th edn. McGraw-Hill Irwin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  38. Yoon-Jun L (2001) Green cluster to vitalize regional economy. The Korea Herald. Available at
  39. Zmud RW (1984) An examination of push-pull theory applied to process innovation in knowledge work. Manag Sci 30(6)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business Administration, in Foreign LanguagesThe Bucharest University of Economic StudiesBucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations