Purpose: The paper assesses the dissemination of cluster ideas advanced in the “Competitive Advantage of Nations” and three subsequent national studies and the reasons for their substantial public policy impact in Norway. Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents the theoretical and methodological novelties of each of the national studies, the inclusive study-organizing principle employed and public policy impact. Findings: The papers finds that the dissemination of cluster thinking and the development of a successful cluster-based industrial policy in Norway is largely a function of the nature and extent of the cluster research efforts that took place in Norway. The national cluster research projects mobilized all the key industrial and governmental actors in a very effective way making studies both rigor and relevant. Due to advanced and demanding policy makers, the studies also evolved in terms of the theoretical models and methodologies employed. Originality/value: The paper contributes by illuminating the direct and indirect impact of the “Competitive Advantage of Nations” on both academic endeavors and public policies in Norway and by explicating how studies that make it possible for academics and practitioners to work in tandem substantially affect public policy.