Cluster Support Environment

Project information

Index: 0004R1
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Innovation, research and technology development
Location UNITED KINGDOM NORTH WEST (ENGLAND) Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2008
End: 2011

Topic of the practice

Cluster development and associated networks.

Good Practice Information

The Cluster Support Environments (CSE) 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.
This good practice has been developed based on 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. At the various stages in the growth of a business, it needs different types of premises and related business support. Start-up businesses may either require space in an incubator or in managed workspace depending on the technical complexity of the business and the cost of the specialist equipment and facilities it needs in its early growth phase. As a business becomes successful and expands it will need to move to larger premises and may have less need for specialist equipment to be provided as part of the location package. Again, depending on the technical complexity of the business it may need to move to a grow-on facility and then to a science park before locating on a business park. Businesses with less technical requirements may be able to move straight to a business park. When considering the needs of businesses in a particular cluster, it is essential to ensure that the right combination of the different types of premise is available in the right locations within the boundaries of the cluster. This will enable businesses to remain within the cluster as they grow and expand. A handbook on how to bring clusters up to an international level was developed during the project and translated for the region interested in importing the GP.

Evidence of success

Észak-Alföld (HU) has imported elements of the "Cluster Support Environments Model" from North West England

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Russell Yates, , Bill Greenhalgh


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