Working Paper
ICT Clusters in Europe

the Great Central Banana and the Small Nordic Potato

We analyse the clustering of European ICT activities. Our focus is primarily on the ICT manufacturing industries in the EU countries. We find a clear and intensifying concentration tendency of ICT-related production and R&D. As a rule, originally specialized countries have become more so. In terms of export specialization, however, countries have become more similar. This may be a consequence of new production modes and distribution systems in the sector. Mapping of ICT businesses by postal code reveals two blocs of European ICT activity. The larger central bloc begins in the greater London area and proceeds via Randstad through Germany's industrial heartland and ends in northern Italy. The smaller Scandinavian bloc covers the Helsinki and Stockholm metropolitan areas. Our empirical investigation shows a notable country- level specialization in ICT, but businesses within the EU are concentrated into the spatial clusters that do not respect national borders.