Clusters generate growth, innovation and jobs
Oxford Research has extensive experience working with clusters – through the delivery of cluster courses and a number of cluster-related projects and studies.
Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions within a particular industry, business, or value chain. Most researchers, as well as practitioners who work with clusters and cluster development, would add that a mature cluster is not only characterized by the geographical concentration, but there must also be close and extensive working relationships and networking among cluster firms, knowledge institutions, and other related stakeholders.
Renowned Harvard professor Michael E. Porter brought the cluster concept the forefront in the 1980s and 90s through his pioneering studies into the backgrounds of regions' and nations' competitive advantages. Subsequent research and experience has shown that companies that are part of strong clusters and cluster-like environments are more competitive and innovative than companies not included in clusters. Since the development of the concept, researchers, policymakers, and businesses have generally been increasing their focus on clusters, cluster development, and cluster policies.
Businesses and related institutions in close geographical proximity enable knowledge, ideas, and important information to be quickly disseminated and shared between actors in the cluster. Building trust and networks between firms is more efficient within clusters, which means that businesses and the cluster actors can work together to address common challenges such as the attraction of skilled labor and investment, international marketing, implementation of major R&D projects, and other initiatives to increase competitiveness.
Clusters cannot be created "out of the blue.' Rather, cluster development occurs most often from existing specializations, competencies, or other competitive advantages in the given region. The development of a cluster can be enhanced and supported through enabling environment and proper business policy initiatives to launch a network and cluster initiatives.
Oxford Research is a knowledge leader in clusters and cluster development.
Oxford Research has worked intensively with clusters, cluster development, and cluster policies since 1995. Oxford Research's founder and Chairman, Kim Møller, was involved at the inception of cluster research in the 1980s, working along with Harvard professor Michael E. Porter's research team on the famous 'Ten Nation Study' that laid the foundation for the modern cluster concept. Oxford Research is currently among the leading knowledge providers and practitioners in clustering in Scandinavia and Europe and we have undertaken a wide range of regional, national and international cluster actors such as the EU Commission, the European Cluster Observatory, REG X Cluster Academy, Copenhagen Capacity, ministries, regions, municipalities, and directly with cluster organizations and cluster initiatives.
On this basis, Oxford Research is able to offer a wide range of consulting services related to clusters, cluster development, and cluster policies:
- Inventories and analyzes of clusters and value chains: Oxford Research specializes in identifying potential as well as mature clusters, mapping the various clusters actors and value chains to assess their strengths, opportunities, and challenges.
- Monitoring and evaluation of clusters and cluster initiatives: In order to keep a cluster initiative on track and get the maximum return on investment, ongoing monitoring and evaluation is important. Oxford Research has implemented baseline measurements, monitoring systems, and evaluations for many of the largest clusters and cluster programs in Scandinavia.
- Strategy development for cluster organizations and business policy makers: creating sustainable and successful cluster initiatives is not easy and requires a clear strategy that is both rooted in the real actors and based on sound analysis. Oxford Research has extensive expertise in facilitating strategy development processes, and has supported strategic planning for the Region of Zealand, the Region of Southern Denmark, RoboCluster, Offshore Centre Denmark, Copenhagen Finance IT Region, and Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster.
- Cluster Development Courses: Since 2006, Oxford Research has offered workshops and courses in cluster development for facilitators and professionals working with clusters. Through interactive and practice-based learning, participants will be equipped with knowledge and tools they can use in their daily work to build innovative and sustainable clusters and cluster initiatives. Please read more about our international cluster course.
To learn more about our work in cluster development and analysis, and to inquire about how Oxford Research can help your organization, please contact Jakob Stoumann, Head of department at Oxford Research, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (+45) 24 47 59 29.