The Emergence and Development of the Cambridge Ink Jet Printing Industry
This paper focuses on the Ink Jet Printing (IJP) industry in the vicinity of Cambridge, UK, and explores the emergence and maturation of a knowledge-based cluster of activity. The discussion is organised in terms of the origins and progeny of the firms in the cluster and their business environment. The lineage of firms is examined with reference to their technologies, spin-out activity and reasons for location near Cambridge. Ecological issues are addressed with reference to production chains, competition and new relations of ownership accompanying the globalisation of the mature industry. It is shown that maturation of an industry can be followed by local renewal, which in this case has accompanied recognition of the generic nature of the ink jet technologies as an innovative process for the deposition of valuable substances on substrates. Beyond the original printing and product identification industries, there are wide applications for IJP, which extend to the emergence of intelligent materials.