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Introduction to Clusters

 

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Introduction to clusters

Globalisation has a significant impact on the development of industries and their competitiveness. This forces policy makers to reconsider their strategy and to develop new activities. One of these activities is the development of cluster building processes and their integration into innovation processes and strategies.

During the 1990s, many countries of the European Union started to establish cluster-oriented measure to strengthen the industry’s ability to innovate and increase national competitiveness. Within the scope of establishing innovation supporting instruments, building networks between industry, R&D-centres and academia plays a significant role and has a huge impact on the success of such activities.

Cluster initiatives are an adequate and effective instrument to concentrate resources and means in order to achieve a critical mass and to accelerate the transfer of knowledge and know-how. The initiation and coordination of cluster initiatives and networks has become an important tool for governments to support and foster economic growth in high-technology sectors as well as low-technology sectors.

Research from reputable companies, increasingly show that the process of creativity is the result of people talking, and communicating face-to-face in teams. In addition, the geographic setup is even more important, especially for knowledge-intensive activities. New economy business practices are collaborative, built on trust, dialogue and alignment.

In Fact, a key component of any high performance cluster is extensive informal and formal networking between firms – even competitors – right across the cluster, and between firms and their supporting infrastructure. The degree of connectivity amongst knowledge agents, and between them and firms, is a key aspect of a high performance innovation system. Companies, in particular specialised SMEs, rarely have the resources to innovate alone. Nevertheless, through the Pooling4Cluster project and through an effective incentive system, will help encourage linkages to motivate firms communicate with knowledge agents.