Mainstreaming Innovative Instruments for SME development in Europe


Cluster Support Environment Model (North West of England)


The Cluster Support Environments (CSE) model considers the physical infrastructure requirements of a cluster. Whilst all clusters are different and the specific mix of infrastructure will therefore vary, there are several generic types of infrastructure which might be present. The model considers the premise that businesses need support at various stages of growth, including spin-outs and diversification from large businesses. It also considers the specialist facilities that businesses may need to use on a short term basis to develop new products and processes.

The model has been developed out of activity undertaken by the Sixth Framework Programme (CLUNET project). This involved the mapping of cluster policies in the 16 CLUNET regions and the identification of policies that support fast growing clusters, focusing on themes such as the internationalisation of cluster SMEs and incubation.

Cluster development is mainly concerned with encouraging networking & collaborations.  The effective exchange of information and the building of trust between individuals and organisations are crucial.

As the cluster grows there can be a demand for certain types of infrastructure:

– Premises where businesses can locate

– Incubators and science parks

– Facilities for use on a short term basis (Business Technology Centres)

– Pilot plants and demonstrators

Businesses using the infrastructure will need generic and specialised business support.
Businesses will benefit from collaborations with the other businesses using the infrastructure .

Jun, 30 2009 Comments Closed | Clusters, Good Practices, Knowledge transfer, North West England, Support for innovation

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