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Cluster Definitions

Cluster Definitions

"A cluster is a geographical proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities and externalities". (Michael E. Porter, On Competition)

Cluster members or constituents

Cluster members or better "constituents" (since to be part you do not need to sign a membership) "include end product or service companies; suppliers of specialized inputs, components, machinery, and services; financial institutions; and firms in related industries. Clusters also often include firms in downstream industries (that is, channels or customers); producers of complementary products; specialized infrastructure providers; government and other institutions providing specialized training, education, information, research and technical support (such as universities, think tanks, vocational training providers); and standard setting agencies. Government agencies that significantly influence a cluster can be considered part of it. Finally, many clusters include trade associations and other collective private sector bodies that support cluster members." (Michael E. Porter, On Competition, Harvard Business Press, 1998, p.215-216)

Cluster Initiative

Cluster initiative: an organised effort to increase the growth and competitiveness of a cluster within a region, involving cluster firms, government and/or the research community". (Örjan Sölvell, Göran Lindqvist and Christian Ketels, The Cluster Initiative Greenbook, Ivory Tower AB, 2003, p.)

Cluster Initiative Participant

Businesses and other innovation stakeholders involved in cluster initiatives" (extracted from EC Communication: Towards world-class clusters in the European Union: Implementing the broad-based innovation strategy- SEC(2008) 2637, 17 October 2008, p.7)

Cluster Organisation

Cluster initiatives are increasingly managed by specialised institutions, known as cluster organisations, which take various forms, ranging from non-profit associations, through public agencies to companies." (EC Communication: Towards world-class clusters in the European Union: Implementing the broad-based innovation strategy- SEC(2008) 2637} 17 October 2008, p.8). A Cluster Organisation does not necessarily have members, but it provides services to the cluster initiative participants.

Cluster Association and Cluster Association Members

A non-profit association legally formed by members "businesses and other innovation stakeholders involved in cluster initiatives" (concluded from definitions above).

Statistical clusters

Regional agglomerations of co-located industries and services". (EC Communication: Towards world-class clusters in the European Union: Implementing the broad-based innovation strategy- {SEC(2008) 2637}, 17 October 2008, p.3)

Source: See www.cluster-excellence.eu
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