Dr. Ketel sets out the intricate relationship between clusters and their physical surroundings and examines the connections and linkages between cluster related activities within their particular geography.

This article suggests that buildings and physical sites are a critical aspect of cluster-specific business environments, to achieve the economies of scale and scope locally. Further, the location can either contribute or hinder the cluster in development. A cluster’s home building serves to exemplify the structured collaboration in place, as well as strengthening and ‘Powering the Regions‘ in attracting investment and a pipeline of talent.

This supports the case for continued investment in a cluster locality in order for the economic development factor to play out.  This article leads us to ask what more is required beyond the iconic building, to build & sustain cluster dynamism.

Lessons for Ireland
In order to achieve a healthy cluster, a particular geography requires collaboration, knowledge flows, and market dynamics driven by proximity.  As we prepare and plan for hard infrastructure to improve connectivity, this needs to happen in tandem with planning to overlay the soft infrastructure – collaboration, communication, co-innovation and more – in order to foster cluster dynamism.

We know from history that a crisis is a watershed moment, which can accelerate economic and societal transitions.  We need to make informed choices for the new post Covid-19 reality.  Clusters have the connections to enable economic development in working towards transformation and new growth. As we prepare for a new normal does collaboration & clustering serve as the economic development tool of choice. Do you have a partnership that can benefit from a discussion on Clustering?

Read Dr Christian Ketels, Chair, TCI Advisory Board article here

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