About the Project
"The U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is used by governments, economic developers, and businesses to understand and shape the competitive landscape for a wide range of industries. These data are being put in the hands of local officials, who are using the information to make strategic investments, recruit new companies, and lay the groundwork for new industries. Across the country, our cluster mapping tool gives us the ability to reinvent and modernize economic development strategies – all driven by open data."
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, July 14, 2014
Conduct state-of-the-art academic research on clusters and industries.
Create a website to provide open access to the research and data.
Make an impact on business, policy, and innovation in the United States.
The U.S. Cluster Mapping Project is a national economic initiative that provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business environments in the United States to promote economic growth and national competitiveness. The project is led by Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Regional economies are the building blocks of U.S. competitiveness. The nation’s ability to produce high-value products and services depends on the creation and strengthening of regional clusters of industries that become hubs of innovation. Clusters, which are regional concentrations of related industries, are a striking feature of all modern economies, making regions uniquely competitive for jobs and private investment. On June 11, 2014, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the launch of the new, Beta version of the U.S. Cluster Mapping website, commenting that the tool "reinforces the federal government's commitment to promote America's clusters and provide businesses and organizations with the data and strategies they need to capitalize on their region's assets."
This resource provides a modern web experience, integrating comparable data and metrics on economic performance to highlight regional strengths and opportunities and empower regions and businesses to make informed decisions. With an extensive organization registry, the platform also aims to connect businesses with the organizations that are promoting their clusters, as well as enable users to share and discuss best practices in economic development, policy and innovation.
The project provides a robust cluster mapping database grounded in the leading academic research. Professor Michael Porter pioneered the comprehensive mapping of clusters in the U.S. economy in the early 2000s. The research team from Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, and Temple Fox School of Business used the latest Census and industry data to develop an algorithm that defines cluster categories covering the entire U.S. economy, which standardize clusters and enable comparative analyses between any region in the United States.
The project invests in a highly optimized, modern website to enable private and public sector entities to make effective use of the cluster mapping data. This website tool provides a broader data infrastructure that covers cluster presence and performance, as well as several types of data about regional economic performance, business environment quality, and regional characteristics. A key component of the platform is an organizations registry that presents a community network for practitioners to learn about ongoing initiatives across the country and share their best practices. The browser server requirements to view the website are Google Chrome 9+, Internet Explorer 9+, or Mozilla Firefox 27+. Learn more about the website on the Phase2 Technology work page.
On September 29, 2014, the U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool was launched at Mapping the Midwest's Future: Regional Innovation Clusters and Competitiveness, hosted by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Research on the presence of regional clusters has recently oriented economic policy toward addressing the needs of clusters and mobilizing their potential. Four regional partners in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, and South Carolina produced a set of case studies that discuss how regions have organized economic policy around clusters. These cases form the core of a resource library that aims to disseminate insights and strengthen the community of practice in cluster-based economic development. The project will also take an international scope to benefit cross-border industries in North America and inform collective global dialogue around cluster-based economic development.
The project and this website will continue to grow and evolve with additional data and content. We look forward to working with you over the years to improve and enhance the site, and invite your questions and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.