In all industrial and technological agglomerations several types of public and semi-public actors coexist. The same happens with the levels of government. Consequently, the daily reality of agglomerations is characterized by a wide diversity of innovation-support institutions more or less actively engaged in enhancing the technological capabilities and knowledge flow of the territory. Taking this consideration as a starting point, the article presents the dynamics of the technological agglomeration of the Vallès Occidental County, located within Catalonia, Spain. It has supplied information on the major efforts of different public actors in the territory since the 1980s, mainly through the establishment and enhancement of innovation-support institutions, and analyses succinctly their effects through selected successful and failed cases. Two normative statements are suggested from the analysis. The first is that policy strategies should not try to be hegemonic. Instead, they should be elaborated seeking complementarity and coexistence. A second normative conclusion is the necessity of fostering the learning processes within and across institutions, by mobilizing collectively the assets of the area into an open explicit option for the economic performance of the territory. The conclusions include a final plea for further research about the industrial dynamics and knowledge flows in the Vallès Occidental County, an important growth pole of Catalonia.
European Urban and Regional Studies, 2002, Vol 9, Issue 4, p. 283-296