Despite globalization and diversification of economic activities, competitiveness and the ability to implement break-through innovations still rest to a great extent on enduring relationships and industrial clusters.
Moreover, in the future we will no longer see just individual companies but entire conglomerates and networks of businesses competing with one another. This is the result not only of the transition from product to system innovations (e.g. in the fields of mobility, energy, or health) but also of globalization of markets where even large corporations no longer have a sufficiently critical mass. Therefore the success of any individual company today no longer rests on its own strength, but also on its ability to successfully engage in heterogeneous, complementary and stable alliances.
For these reasons, regional roots, cross-sector networks and reliable institutions and infrastructures remain of great importance for the future viability of globally active firms – and indeed of entire economies.