Cluster Development

The term "Cluster" was initially elaborated by Alfred Marshall, the English economist who noted that the companies belonging to the same sector tend to group together in the same geographical territory with goal to optimize their economic activities. He called this phenomenon “industrial districts”. The theory of industrial districts was further developed and nowadays the term is widely accepted and used among those who have been responsible for industrial and regional development.

Today’s economic map of the world is characterized by “clusters” meaning geographic concentrations of interrelated companies and institutions in a particular field.  Clusters are a geographic concentration of firms, higher education and research institutions, and other public and private entities that facilitates collaboration on complementary economic activities and partnerships on innovative projects.  

Clusters embrace a range of linked industries and other entities significant for keeping competitiveness; they include, for example, suppliers of specialized inputs such as components, machinery, and services, and providers of specialized infrastructure. Clusters also often  extend to channels and customers as well as to manufacturers of complementary products and to companies in industries related by skills, technologies, or common inputs. Finally, many clusters include governmental and other institutions—such as universities, standards-setting agencies, think tanks, vocational training providers, and trade associations—that provide specialized training, education, information, research, and technical support. While some of the world’s leading clusters specialize in high-technology industries (e.g. Silicon Valley) clusters are also found in sectors ranging from wine making to automobiles to biotechnology.

Clusters are powerful engines of economic development and drivers of innovation in the European Union. EU's policy tendencies aimed at stimulating the development of competitive agglomeration are determining Member States to steer public measures to support associative forms such as clusters or poles of competitiveness.  Clusters provide a fertile business environment for companies, especially SMEs, to collaborate with research institutions, suppliers, customers and competitors located in the same geographical area.

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  • Covid-19 Industrial Clusters Response Portal

      This webpage supports the efforts of industrial clusters to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe. Over 1100 offers from companies were already channeled to the European...


    The Cluster House, as an innovative business development organization for support to cluster –based economic development in the Balkan and Black Sea Region, is an initiator and a coordinator of the Balkan...

  • Serbian Cluster Association (SCAN)

    As a national-level Association, SCAN serves as a platform for cooperation among clusters, and support creation of new cluster initiatives and their development. Building a partner network with national...

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