The Portuguese Maritime Mega Cluster: Quantification, Assessment and Innovation

Research output: Working paper


In these last four or five years, the creation of a Maritime Cluster in Portugal has been an issue of first political and economic relevance in the Co untry. The enlargement of the Continental Shelf under national jurisdiction into a total surf ace of 2.2 million square kilometres (with a predictable high level of mineral, genetic and hydr othermal resources) – particularly taking into account the economic crisis in current context – awakes all kinds of hopes and ambitions. This “last big change in the World Map” – in direct connection with the main guidelines of the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union – requires the creation of a maritime mega- cluster. It should include both traditional (fishin g, canning industry, ship building, maritime transports), and modern sectors (wave and tide ener gy, biotechnology), in a country that it is not known for a high level of social capital or its capacity of developing joint efforts. The current paper defines and presents the Maritime Cluster basic and most important characteristics in terms of main territories and re gions. More specifically, the critical stage which corresponds to the Cluster initial emergence (during which the seeds for future economic growth are launched) has a strong dependen ce from different local conditions and the launch of specific processes. Starting with the assumption that geographical prox imity and enterprises/institutions strategic cooperation promote competitiveness and innovation and, in consequence, the development, we propose to determine the existence of cooperatio n relationships and/or partnerships between activities connected with maritime sector; if those relationships exist, are they partnerships at local, regional or national scale; and if recent trends point out towards innovation. The paper quantifies the sea cluster main intersect orial linkages, based on Portugal’s Input- Output Matrix integrated system, to which we call S ea Input/Output Matrix (SIOM). It is also put in evidence the multiplier factors of direct, i ndirect and induced effects. Taking into consideration the final quantitative results, the a uthors present some remarks in terms of Employment, GVA and Investment in Portuguese Sea Cl uster Economic Sectors. Finally, it is presented the preliminary results of a questionnaire that was launched among the members of the so called Sea Entrepreneurial Forum.
Original languageUnknown
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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