TCI Network
31 March 2015

By Christian Ketels, TCI President

This academic term I have the pleasure to teach a Harvard class on “Microeconomics of Competitiveness”. Teaching is always a great way to revisit key concepts and break them down to their logical core. And it also confronts you with tough questions from students that are not afraid to challenge established views.


One such question came up two weeks ago when I was teaching a case on the Basque Country, exploring the role that cluster efforts played and play in their approach to economic development. As a guest we had with us Arantxa Tapia, Basque Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness. She explained how the Basque Country, a long-term partner of the TCI Network and host of our 15th anniversary Global Conference in 2012, had launched cluster initiatives already in the early 1990s and continued to use them even through transitions in the political leadership of the regional government.