A cluster is a group of geographically close companies or institutions which are working together, at a strategic level, to manufacture products or deliver services. Most successful clusters are composed of organisations covering the “triple helix” of business, academia and government.
Businesses cluster together because collaborating in this way provides competitive advantages (including increased productivity and better innovation), which the individual companies may not be able to obtain on their own.
The purpose of this project was to support clusters through the improvement of policies and the performance of cluster organisations.
The Department worked with a number of local stakeholders to deliver this project, including:
- Invest NI
- Intertrade Ireland
- CBI Northern Ireland
- Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy
- Ulster University
European Union Regional Fund and Interreg Europe/ ERDF financial support
CLUSTERS3 was supported by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funds under the INTERREG Europe programme. Total funding for the programme amounted to €1.8m, with the Department receiving €190,000.
Further information on the project can be found on the CLUSTERS3 project website.