The Regional Clusters Initiative is a pilot program launched in September 2010 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to promote and support 10 regional industry clusters across the United States. Clusters act as a networking hub to connect large firms, researchers, regional economic organizations, investors, and small businesses. The evaluation described here aims to provide an understanding of how the Regional Clusters Initiative was implemented across the 10 clusters, to assess the services provided by clusters to participating businesses and organizations, and to measure changes in key business and organizational outcomes. In particular, it focuses on short- and intermediate-term outcomes that may be influenced by cluster activities and services (e.g., development of alliances among cluster participants, commercialization of new technologies, and improved export and marketing strategies), as well as on longer-term outcomes (e.g., employment and payroll growth, business revenue growth, and new business formation).
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