The Baltic Region

2013 Issue №4(18)

Back to the list Download the article

The potential for expanding inter-cluster cooperation between the ship-building industries of Estonia, Finland, and North-West Russia



The shipbuilding industry clusters in the Eastern Baltic Sea region, i. e. Estonia, Finland and North-West Russia, may benefit significantly from increased mutual cooperation; however, the international networks between the clusters are still poorly developed. The aim of this article is to analyse the preconditions for cluster internationalization between these clusters, which are rather different but complementary in terms of skills. The research material for this desk study was collected from various sources, including journal articles, media, research reports, and other publications. The results of the study indicate that the increasing cooperation within the triangle of these clusters has a significant potential in terms of combining different areas of expertise and creating a multidimensional maritime industry hub in the region. However, differences in the cluster structure and development stages lead to certain difficulties in achieving these objectives. In conclusion, the authors identify the factors both facilitating and inhibiting networking between the three clusters. This study provides a platform for further research focusing on the factors identified and gives ideas for public discussion on increased inter-cluster cooperation.


1. Andrésen, A., Junnelius, J., Laaksonen, E., Mäkinen, H. 2013, The Finnish maritime cluster, Maritime companies and their business networks in the Central Baltic region, SmartComp Research Report, no. 2.
2. Andrésen, A., Laaksonen, E., Mäkinen, H. 2012, The Finnish maritime cluster, Maritime cluster analysis on the Central Baltic region, SmartComp Research Report, no. 1, December 2012.
3. Bank of Finland 2012. Russia wants to quintuple its shipbuilding output by 2030, 2012, BOFIT Weekly, no. 46, November 16.
4. Bathelt, H., Malmberg, A., Maskell, P. 2004, Clusters and knowledge: local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation, Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 28, no. 1, p. 31—56.
5. Chiaroni, D. Chiesa, V. 2006, Forms of creation of industrial clusters in biotechnology, Technovation, no. 26, p. 1064—1076.
6. Doing Business in St. Petersburg 2011, Shipbuilding cluster, 2011, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
7. ECOTEC Research & Consulting and El Konsult 2006, 2006, An exhaustive analysis of employment trends in all sectors related to sea or using sea resources. Country report — Estonia, C3135, August 2006, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
8. Filippov, P. Yurkovsky, V. 2007, Essay on internationalization potential of Northwest Russian and Finnish energy clusters, ETLA Discussion Papers, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA), no. 1078.
9. Ketels, C. 2012, The impact of clusters and networks of firms on EU competitiveness, Final Report: Firm networks (May 2012), Studies in the Area of Competitiveness, WIFO, Specific Contract No 605748.
10. Laaksonen, E. Mäkinen, H. 2013, The Competitiveness of the Maritime Clusters in the Baltic Sea Region: Key Challenges from the Finnish Perspective, Journal of East-West Business, Vol. 19, no. 1—2, p. 91—104.
11. Ministry of Employment and the Economy, 2012, Abrupt structural change areas and areas supported due to closure of garrisons, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
12. Ministry of Employment and the Economy, 2013, Meriteollisuuden kilpailukykytyöryhmä aloittaa työnsä [Working group for the competitiveness of the maritime industry starts it work], available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
13. NAG Partners, 2012, Suomen offshore-toimiala 2012 [The Finnish Offshore Industry 2012], Prizztech Oy, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
14. Padmore, T. Gibson, H. 1998, Modelling systems of innovation: II. A framework for industrial cluster analysis in regions, Research Policy, no. 26, p. 625—541.
15. Portsmuth, R., Hunt, T., Terk, E., Nommela, K., Hartikainen, A. 2011, Estonian maritime cluster, Proceedings of Estonian Maritime Academy, no. 13, Eesti Mereakadeemia.
16. President of Russia, 2013, Meeting with Sovcomflot CEO Sergei Frank, 2013, the Official website of the President of Russia, available at: (accessed 21 August 2013).
17. Prime Minister’s Office, 2012, 60 years after the war reparations, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
18. Purju, A. Branten, E. 2012, The Estonian maritime cluster, Maritime cluster analysis on the Central Baltic region, SmartComp Research Report, no. 1, December 2012.
19. Rickevičius, G. 2011, Maritime industries cluster report, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).
20. Vorotnikov, V. 2012, Russia approves shipbuilding program, Baird Maritime, October 9, 2012, available at: (accessed 31 May 2013).