Technology and knowledge-driven innovation are critical to wealth creation and overall economic vibrancy in our New Economy. Where clusters of emerging technologies form plays a key role in determining economic winners and losers of the first half of the 21st century. As economic activity becomes more knowledge-based, those regions with leading clusters will experience greater economic growth. Because knowledge is generated, transmitted and shared more efficiently in close proximity, economic activity based on new knowledge has a high propensity to cluster within a geographic area.
This paper offers a blueprint for developing regional high-tech clusters using the case of the microsystems industry in the Southwest United States. It discusses development strategies for high-tech clusters in general, then for the microsystems industry in particular. Finally, it sets out specific actions required to establish a microsystems cluster in any given region.