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A History of Industrial Clusters: Knowledge, Innovation Systems and Sustainability in the UK

Event information
Date 4th - 5th March 2020
Time 10:30am - 12:45pm

Industrial clusters are a much-studied topic in business, economic and management history, with much of the focus examining why firms cluster together and the resulting benefits of this process. Seventeen years ago, Wilson and Popp edited a collection of essays that analysed English industrial clusters across history, applying a framework provided by Mark Casson to reveal some important characteristics of a range of case-studies (Wilson & Popp, 2003). Since then, the diversity of experience in the history of British industrial clusters has been celebrated and emphasised through a growing body of case studies.

This workshop brings together some of the leading researchers across the field of business and economic history showcasing the breadth and depth of current work. At its core are the themes of innovation, knowledge and sustainability and a framework developed by David Charles bringing these together. This will allow new questions to be asked and provide a historical dimension to regional economic development in the UK. The research presented will also offer some contemporary insights into policy-making and industrial strategy.

The core research output arising from the workshop will be a new edited collection on industrial clusters (under the same title as the workshop and edited by Chris Corker, Joe Lane and John Wilson). This is currently under contract with Routledge for publication in 2021 and will form part of their ‘International Studies in Business History’ series.