Francesc Xavier Molina-Morales, Luís Martínez-Cháfer, David Valiente-Bordanova

Disruptive Technological Innovations as New Opportunities for Mature Industrial Clusters. The Case of Digital Printing Innovation in the Spanish Ceramic Tile Cluster

Over the last few decades, many studies have focused on the role that incremental innovations play in cluster contexts. However, few authors have analysed the impact of disruptive innovations on these entities. The present research analyses the emergence, development and dissemination of a disruptive technological innovation in an industrial cluster. In particular, we study the case of the introduction of inkjet printing technology in the Spanish ceramic cluster as a paradigm of how a disruptive innovation can impact the industry’s value chain. This technological change ended up revolutionizing what was considered a mature and stable sector. In short, we will describe how a disruptive technological innovation is capable of renewing the life cycle of a cluster favouring the recovery of competitiveness and, even, creating new opportunities for diversification.

Keywords: disruptive technological innovation; industrial cluster; digital printing; inkjet technology; ceramic tile industry

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