#300. Clusters – They’re Not Just in America

Posted on | The Agurban

Clusters – They’re Not Just In America

Sometimes it is hard to think outside of the American borders. We recently received information from Cluster Navigators, 
a niche economic development consultancy that takes a cluster approach to developing competitiveness globally. With locations in New Zealand and Australia, the company services clients on five continents, introducing the relevance of clustering as a cornerstone for economic development.
Professor Michael Porter defines clusters this way: Clusters are geographic concentrations of inter-   connected companies and institutions in a particular field. Clusters encompass an array of linked industries and other entities important to competition. They include, for example, suppliers of specialized inputs such as components, machinery, and services, and providers of specialized infrastructure. This framework serves at the starting point for Cluster Navigators’ work.
Over the past 8 years, we have identified a number of industrial clusters in the United States. For instance, Warsaw, Indiana, is known as the Orthopedic Capital of the World, and, of course, there is Silicon Valley, known as a technology cluster.
We have now learned of a number of clusters in Europe, and, as pointed out in the recent Cluster Navigators newsletter, “a world-class cluster does not necessarily need to be in a large population center”. Examples given include:
  • Hay-on-Wye, Wales (population 2,000) … the world’s largest antique book cluster;
  • Scone, Australia (pop 5,000) … the world’s second largest thoroughbred horse cluster;
  • Castel Goffredo, Italy (pop 11,000) produces a third of Europe’s hosiery.
Learn more about world-class clusters and Cluster Navigators by visiting www.clusternavigators.com.