Triggering factors for cluster emergence: case study from Algeria, Dr. Abdelkader Hamadi, Dr. Younes Ferdj and Dr. Aimad Datoussaid

Dr. Abdelkader Hamadi
Researcher associate at CREAD (Algiers) and Clersé (Lille); Maghtech Network, France
Dr. Younes Ferdj
Food Safety Manager, Food Researcher at the Center for Research in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD), Maghtech Network, Algeria
Dr. Aimad Datoussaid
Lab Innovation Management and Marketing, University of Djilali Lyabes, Sidi Bel Abbes, Maghtech Network, Algeria

Purpose: The objective of this paper is to discuss and analyse the triggering factors for the emerging biotech cluster Sidi Abdallah. We mainly focus on the innovative clusters concept in the area of biotech as a mode of organisation and agglomeration of innovation actors. The study uses data from fieldwork conducted in the Sidi Abdallah biotech cluster involving several institutions (enterprises, ministries, research centres, public institutions) together with secondary data mostly from private and public organisations.
Findings: Results reveal a form of cluster emergence that we call a peripheral cluster. The concept of the peripheral cluster is that such non-core clusters did not benefit from a path-dependency or historical factors that can help them emerge like the big European and American clusters. We have come to the conclusion that cluster policy is often ineffective in peripheral regions because of the scarcity of some determinants, such as: (1) intermediary institutions; (2) regulatory framework; (3) local demand; (4) anchor firms; (5) cluster critical mass; and (6) slow cluster life cycle.
Originality/Value: The originality of this work stems from two aspects: first, that we use for the first time the “emergence” rather than the catch-up paradigm (Djeflat, 2006) in the Arab World to analyse biotech clusters. Second, this study represents one of the very few empirical studies conducted in biotech clusters in Algeria and, as such, may offer some insights into the importance of territorial dynamics in the field of biotechnology in developing countries.
Keywords: Peripheral clusters, emergence, territorial dynamic, biotech, Algeria.


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