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Using an ex-ante, policymaker perspective, this study focuses upon a proposal for a new university (automotive) research institute (URI)–the University of Bath’s Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) – and its role in the conception of a new industrial cluster. Analysing unique survey data, we identify the key characteristics of the firms most likely to observe future potential benefits from the presence of this proposed public anchor (1) in isolation and (2) when the proposed public anchor is established with a research-based relationship with a co-located private anchor. We find the presence of a private anchor amplifies the attractiveness of the public anchor, heightening the likelihood of a cluster emerging. We discuss implications for policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1486
Number of pages14
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number8
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • aerospace
  • anchor tenants
  • automotive
  • clusters
  • innovation
  • networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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