Summary of the Results
This volume addresses the issue of cluster transformation within digital transformation. It aims at answering the questions of how the cluster can deliver ICs and RV, and how it stretches'?
Concerning the fust problem, it might be argued that ICs are being developed in the HAv, by gradual and incremental accumulation of triple helix components. It happens by stimulating the critical mass of knowledge, business/industry activity and policy framework orchestrating and governing the cluster’s members. It reflects Hidalgo’s (2015) call that industry needs ‘know-how’, but ‘know-how’ needs business. Besides collecting components, it remains critical to safeguard efficient and effective relations between them hence, the activities of a middle-ground, organisation of fans or exhibitions. In fact, the ZAL. likewise HECAS alone, might epitomise or incarnate the triple helix idea, as they present themselves as the interface of academia, business and administration. These local players are strongly and mutually intertwined, linked by various relations or often members within each other. It enables synergy and improves co-operation, reinforces the overall HAv mission and safeguards the coherent vision. Nevertheless, the downside of this situation is an intricate cobweb of relations, unclear status, with tensions, suspicions and rivalry beneath the surface.
Related variety, closely linked with technological diversification in the HAv, takes the form of covering the complete life cycle of an aircraft and the entire value chain of aviation. Provision of RV happens via mechanisms, allowing the free flow of ‘know-how’, the exchange of knowledge, by establishing linkages and connections between members and sectors they represent.
The stretching processes encompass both blending and hubbing. The latter in the HAv means opening up the cluster to the outside world, in particular, thanks to hosting members from outside, Airbus Toulouse/co-operation networks, activities of the EACP or strategic links with selected foreign clusters in Portugal, Brazil and Canada. Blending is also actively supported by combining
98 Cluster -IC, RVand Stretching
bottom-up and top-down processes, in particular, by cross-clustering, co-leaming and bridging initiatives of the Hamburg Metr opolitan Region.
Given the current nature of production processes, the understanding of specialisation should be relaxed. The cluster reflects specialisation in an array of related industries (Delgado, Porter & Stem, 2015). As confirmed in the aerospace Basque cluster, RV can indeed positively contribute to the development (Elola, Valdaliso & Lopez, 2013). Thus, results obtained, correspond with the previous claims that the theoretical notions of specialisation and diversification are too simplistic to capture the relationship between regional industry structure and economic growth (Content & Fren- ken, 2016). Based on the above, it might be argued that the HAv incarnates the light version of RV and hubbing process; that it provides the semi-RV and experiences some semi-hubbing (Figure 7.1).
I4.0 and Cluster Co-Relations
Although the HAv belongs to 14.0 German clusters, interviewees seem cautious whether it is indeed the case. They point out that 14.0 is in the
Figure 7.1 HAv against the concepts of RV and hubbing Source Author’s own proposal background of HAv’s mission. It is a common thread of HAv’s activities and acts as a modulator and factor of change. It is both an instrument and ingredient, facilitating modem aviation. ‘Just’ some technologies (cobots, digital twins and AI) are adopted, as human still matters in this sector. The cluster amis at raising the awareness of the digital transformation’s related challenges and seeks to facilitate the critical HR developments, education and talent, as well as skills nurturing for the metropolitan region. As a result, the approach of HAv towards 14.0 might also be described as soft and much future-oriented. It is also clear that understanding of 14.0 varies among cluster entities, although, they are regarded mostly as highly innovative and representing advanced technologies.
Industry 4.0 could be more visible on HAv’s agenda, resulting in the aim to raise awareness and teach members about the 14.0 impact on business (Вошке & Roper, 2019). Actions so far have been concentrated mainly on improving the knowledge about 14.0, illuminating the fact that 1.40 is more than technologies, or engineering, as it requires a change of business models. Unfortunately, this aspect in general discourse seems to be neglected or rarely mentioned. The peculiarities of the aviation industry should be stressed and taken into account. This sector is much less susceptible to automation or digitised integration than the automotive industry, where thousands of cars leave the assembly line each day. A maximum one aeroplane a day can be manufactured. So, the whole production system and the business model look quite different, implying lower propensity or susceptibility to 14.0 solutions. The human role in this sector also means that new digital technologies play a complementary, rather than a substituting function, in the digitalisation of aviation. It is not that easy to automatise production of an aircraft, as in the car industry. (CR1-7) ‘Here we can produce 30 of A320 per month (which gives, anyway, an impressive one aircraft per day), but when compared to the automotive sector, it is almost hand-made. We don't have modular production as in the car industry. It is a sequence. Fust, we build fuselage. Then, we do the cabin fitting, wiring. So, you need both humans and machines, it would be tricky to bring just robots; we have different settings here in aviation—it is a more supportive system with cobots, which complement the humans’.
Many companies are thinking about 14.0, but what is not common yet, is to see 14.0 as new business models, bringing new opportunities. The HAv office, therefore, concentrates on raising awareness about these new elements of 14.0 technologies. Local experts agree that they are at the beginning of this megatrend. Aerospace has very innovative sectors, although, only some of the 14.0 technologies have been applied so far. (CE2) ‘Finns seem to continue picking up more topics from this megatrend, and flexibly follow the leaders like Airbus ’. (CS1) ‘ There are also some real pioneers in 14.0, here in HAv, and there is a push to make more, to advance this in the cluster, and to diagnose the direction where to go’.
The cluster might become more diversified and less geographically concentrated, but this, as seen by HAv representatives, happens, regardless of digital transformation. Growing international openness cannot, and will not, occur at the expense of local roots, regional embeddedness and identity. Cluster changes—more diversification and less concentration—should also be perceived as the function of its constituent companies’ modifications. Thus, the cluster transformation digitally induced, i.e. the cluster transformation in digital transformation, derives from its members’ transformation. Global processes and tendencies require new business models and new strategies; force to open and to diversify and cluster as such echoes this.