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Analysis of the Glissicon-Valley in the Southwest of France - the enforcement of a European competitiveness and the development of a Global excellence in Boardsports

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case study
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  1. Theoretical background
  2. The 'Glissicon Valley'
    1. Historical background
    2. Elements of the RIS
    3. Competitive advantage of the Glissicon-Valley
    4. Innovations achieved in the RIS
    5. Impediments
  3. Conclusion

In our ?Innovation Systems and Regional Clusters' course, we had the opportunity to discover and study the field of innovation, and its patterns on international, national, regional and local levels. In this paper we will concentrate our attention on an interesting phenomenon taking place in the South-West of France, where a concentration of companies in the board-sport industry can be clearly identified. This regional concentration can be called a Regional Innovation System since it encompasses not merely companies, but also education entities, public institutions, laboratories, professional associations and so on. In this paper, we will analyze the so-called "Glissicon-Valley" with the help of professionals involved in this RIS (The French expression "sports de glisse" means boardsports), which includes 4 clusters: (1) surfboards (ocean and mountain), (2) wetsuits and technical apparel, (2) clothes and (4) accessories. In the first part of the discussion, we will introduce the theoretical background, essential for the achievement of our study, in order to justify the literature chosen. In the second part, we will focus on the Glissicon-Valley and examine this RIS, its related actors, and strive to formulate relevant discussions. To conclude, we will summarize our study on the subject.

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