Globalization and its repercussions have been important drivers in mobilizing leaders to use innovative approaches to improve regional competitiveness. In many regions across the U.S., cluster development efforts have proven to be an effective way to encourage collaboration among companies in the same or related industries and between the public, private, and academic sectors. Over the last few decades, cluster practitioners have gained significant experience in how to turn industry collaboration into better government policies and competitive advantages for firms. However, much of this experience resides with the individuals and organizations who have taken a cluster-based approach to economic development. “Mobilizing Oregon Clusters,” the first in a series of four Policy and Impact Studies developed as part of the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project, supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, is designed to share experiences and lessons from Oregon Business Council (OBC), a non-profit business membership organization comprised of the state’s largest and most established companies.
A set of four Policy and Impact Studies was developed by the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project to impart collaborative, real-world examples of how clusters have been used to improve regional economic growth. These studies are: Mobilizing Oregon Clusters (OR), the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Cluster Initiative (MN), New Carolina (SC), and the Precision Manufacturing Regional Alliance (MA). By documenting cluster programs and amassing a set of best practices, they display how organizations can apply and leverage data from the U.S. Cluster Mapping website to improve their own regions. Each study tells a unique story, but all provide lessons learned that can be applied and extended to other regions.