Young research-intensive high-technology firms tend to cluster in regions, by establishing their companies nearby public scientific institutes, large industrial companies and venture capitalists. It is suggested that various factors such as low transaction costs, knowledge spillovers, and tacit knowledge flows which result from the spatial proximity and networking in clusters might contribute to a better performance of clustered firms. Yet, studies are largely missing in which these theoretical claims are evaluated on basis of a longitudinal analysis (Geenhuizen & Reyes-Gonzalez, 2007, p. 1683).

We aim at filling this gap and addressing following questions: Does cluster embeddedness result in a better performance of high-technology firms, and if so, what are the mechanisms behind this? Are all high-technology clusters equally good, or is there heterogeneity among clusters in terms of their efficiency? If the latter is the case, what makes some high-technology clusters more successful than others?

This study lens on several theoretical perspectives, such as industrial economics, organizational ecology, organizational learning, and sociological neo-institutionalism, to explain how industry contexts as well as organizational and network characteristics may impact survival ability and success of high-technology firms.