The existence of agglomeration economies and the eff ects on the process of regional development has long preoccupied researchers in the fi eld of economics as well as social studies. Since the beginning of the last century many authors have tried to shed light on the causes of economic agglomerations, trying to describe the factors (transport costs, information fl ow, personal relations, etc.) playing an important role in the clustering process. Although their role has signifi cantly changed during the last years, their cumulated eff ect – due to economic principles – has been linked more and more often to the concept of territorial capital. Regarding the typology of economic agglomerations, we can distinguish a series of diff erent classifi cations from the simplest ones to the more complex versions, based on the functional relationships, the specialization, territorial concentration as well as a series of other characteristics which make the respective clusters unique. Th e goal of the paper is to off er a comprehensive overview on the results of cluster research in the last years, insisting on the role of agglomeration economies in the process of regional development, with a special emphasis on the Romanian situation, the importance of the regional dimension, the shortcomings of the innovation system as well as the new opportunities off ered by Structural Funds.

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