Cluster of Berries in Chile: Perspectives and Problems

Cluster of Berries in Chile: Perspectives and Problems

Tomas Gabriel Bas (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1646-2.ch010
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This chapter analyzes the dynamic sectors that have largely contributed to the advancement of the region in terms of innovation by scientific knowledge and competencies. The author is interested in them from the start, current development, and future expansion. The chapter explores the patterns that resulted in a dynamic sector, trying to establish the conditions that make its growth possible through an analysis of the major scientific and technological capability in the Southern Region. In this way the form of relationships which has helped to generate virtuous circles in the competitive sectors of regional economies can be established, as well as discovery of what can be done to improve it. The conditions to actually set up a cluster in Berries are currently inadequate because of the lack of communication between the different “actors.” There is a lack of innovation by the producers, lack of information flow relating to the market requirements by the companies, and a lack of effective transfer of knowledge from the public sector and research bodies. These, amongst other factors, affect the competitiveness of the sector.
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The implications of competencies, scientific knowledge, and technological capacity in the formation of a berries cluster in Chile: the Central - Southern Chilean Macro Region (CSCMR), are analyzed. This paper proposes to establish patterns of development that can help improve the innovative capacity in the Region by use of the berry crop. We present the theory of building capacities and knowledge. Second, we introduce a brief description of the CSCMR, examining the emergence and development of the production of berries. We use a macro-regional grouping, as strategic sectors of the Regions that are similar and that allow comparison. The O’Higgins, Maule and Bio -Bio Regions are the most representative in the economic sphere, where the berry industry is one of the most important contributors in terms of growth and employment generation.

Chile has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past twenty years, in terms of regional development and economic growth and institutionalisation. The export, mainly of natural resources (predominantly mining, aquaculture and horticulture fruit), has led the Chilean economy to be a leader in Latin America until the mid-90. However, in recent years economic growth has shown some hesitation and a low level of development (Echecopar, 2004). For this reason, there is a particular concern over the role that is played by the dynamic sectors of the scientific-technological capabilities (public policy, business, university and society in general) to determine mechanisms to establish the degree of importance of these sectors in the Chilean economic growth. We believe that the keys are in the older generation capabilities that will lead to greater competencies, knowledge and innovation that will help boost the regional economy. This article discusses the most dynamic sector, in relation to contributions to the central-southern region in terms of growth and innovation (Berry fruit crops and in particular: blueberries and raspberries). This is not a hi-tech cluster, but a cluster based in innovative capabilities.

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