11.2.5 Summary of key points

Clusters are groups of independent companies and associates institutions that are: collaborating and/or competing; geographically concentrated in neighbour regions; and specialised in a particular field, linked by common technologies and skills. In clusters’ evolutions four stages can be found; precluster or the birth of a cluster, emergence, expansion and transformation. Clusters have a positive effect on innovation and competitiveness, skill formation, information and growth and long-term business dynamics.

After reading the component you will be aware of the importance of clustering nowadays. Although the component has a marked economic approach it has much to do with innovation as it has mentioned in throughout the component. You will have learned what a cluster is, the different stages involved in its development, why clusters are created and the characterisation of European clusters. The component will have given you some clues to identify clusters in your region and about the way clusters are created and what are the best socio-economic situations to do so.