Have You Seen a Cluster Near You?
Did you know that one definition of a cluster is “a group of the same or similar elements gathered or occurring closely together”? At SBA, clusters represent partnership, innovation, business growth and they are making a difference in how small businesses connect with each other and large entities.
Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, academic institutions, service providers and associated organizations with a specific industry focus. Clusters provide high-value, targeted connecting of small and large businesses, including networking with potential industry partners abroad.
Clusters also form strong partnerships between universities and private industry, facilitating technology transfer and commercialization of new technology. In the defense procurement arena, clusters can play a critical role in helping meet Department of Defense (DoD) operational and innovation needs faster and cheaper than the traditional DoD procurement process while also increasing DoD small business contracts.
Examples of well-known clusters in the United States include Silicon Valley, a hub of computing and social media start-ups fueled by innovative R&D, private funding and a skilled regional workforce, as well as the life sciences industry cluster in San Diego, marked by interlocking networks of small and large companies, local academic institutions and private investment. The SBA has invested in 33 clusters that span a variety of industries and geographic regions throughout the US, ranging from energy and transportation to agriculture and advanced defense technology. For more information on SBA’s cluster initiative, visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov/clusters
Tags: Managing Your Business
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