Int. J. Globalisation and Small Business, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.127–142.
Cluster policy is a process of different activities that been globally in place for more than 20 years. Lately, the importance of policies has its comeback. Therefore, an understanding of the evolution of cluster policy is particularly relevant for tailoring it to territory-specific needs. For this, a theoretical framework based of key components was developed. Two case studies were undertaken to develop in-depth insights about cluster policy, its evolution and change: The Basque country (Spain) and Upper Austria. The research findings indicate that both regions’ cluster policies have evolved along similar evolutionary stages and have been transformed from being technology-driven cluster policy to a regional smart specialisation cluster-based innovation strategy. This outcome stresses the evolutionary dimension of policy and the need to adjust territorial activities to the specific cluster and territorial conditions. A number of applied policy recommendations for managing institutional change are illustrated.