The strategic business area focuses on analysing key factors and strategies for improving commercial competitiveness. The department focuses on those companies which have completed the start-up phase (i.e. companies which have been up and running for five years or more). Thus, the strategy department is divided into units of analysis and activities which complement the Local Area, Innovation and Clusters and Entrepreneurship departments. Although the strategy department’s attention focuses mainly on the situation of companies operating in the Basque Country, it also strives to compare the practices of Basque businesses with those of their national and international counterparts, with the aim of learning from others’ experience and obtaining results which will lead to an improvement in local competitiveness.
The strategy area’s main focus of study are as follows:
- Types of innovation and innovation models: here we study different ways of organising the innovation process (open, user-based, community-based) and different types of innovation itself (product/service, process, business models, organisation).
- Internationalisation processes: here we analyze the geographical patterns of business internationalisation, the activities involved (sales, production, R&D, etc.), means of internationalisation (exports, as part of a network or in collaboration with other local partners, opening up a branch office, etc.), and the reasons which prompt companies to internationalise their operations (commercial reasons, i.e. the desire to conquer new booming markets or to take advantage of a quality or cost level available abroad; to access an environment inductive to innovation, i.e. key markets and users).
- Organisational sizing and structure: here we study the relationship between the size and configuration of companies and their competitiveness, as well as the initiatives they put in place to overcome the disadvantages posed by their small size or reduced resources (cooperation with third parties, alliances, clustering, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, etc.).