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Cluster Mapping Project


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Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School to Map Clusters in U.S. Regions
Project sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration
December 1, 2010

The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School has been selected by the U.S. Commerce Departmentís Economic Development Administration (EDA) to lead the Cluster Mapping Project for the United States. The project aims to provide policymakers and development practitioners across America with rich data and tools for understanding industry clusters in every region of the country, together with tool kits and case studies to assist in formulating economic development strategies. In addition, the project will develop a directory of active cluster initiatives throughout the country.

Read more (pdf).

Go to the new U.S. Cluster Mapping website to sign up for updates.



Mapping the Nationís Regional Innovation Clusters
Webinar with Christian Ketels
January 13, 2011

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development John Fernandez discussed the merits of innovation clusters prior to introducing Dr. Christian Ketels of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Ketels presented on the recently announced, EDA-funded Cluster Mapping Project.

Presentation slides, video


About Cluster Mapping
While some determinants of competitiveness are national in scope or the result of national policies, many are regional and local. Such things as the quantity and quality of specialized skills, infrastructure, and technology, and the presence of clusters vary markedly across regions. This leads to substantial differences in prosperity among states and regions within a nation. States and cities need economic strategies not just nations.

The Institute's current Cluster Mapping Project (CMP) will form a base for a portion of the ambitions of this project. The CMP uses statistical techniques to profile the performance over time of regional economies in the United States, with a special focus on clusters. Clusters are geographically concentrated groups of interconnected companies, universities, and related institutions that arise out of linkages or externalities across industries.

The CMP is an outgrowth of research at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness aimed at finding objective, quantitative measures to compare regional economies over time and to understand the critical drivers of their prosperity. Defining clusters using consistently based statistical methods, and comparing cluster positions across regions, allows a more detailed understanding of the composition of regional economies and their competitive position.

For any region in the U.S., the CMP can compare overall economic and patenting performance to other regions, identify the most important clusters in the economy, and measure their relative performance over time. The CMP data provides a way to understand the underlying drivers of a region's mix of jobs, relative wages, employment growth, formation of new firms, and patenting performance.

Free registration is required.  Additional features are available by subscription.

NEW: Economic profiles of the 50 U.S. states based on this approach were prepared for the National Governors Association Winter Meeting 2011 in conjunction with Michael Porter's presentation there.