I am pleased to welcome you to the U.S. Cluster Mapping and Registry website, where you can access the latest data, tools, and information to maximize your efforts to grow strong, job-creating regional economic ecosystems.
The U.S. Cluster Mapping and Registry website is a collaboration between the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School to generate practical, user-friendly cluster tools that can help you understand and map your community’s strengths and assets in order to better develop the strong, regional-focused economic development strategies that are so critical to our national competitiveness.
Today, successful regional economic development strategies take into account the fact that entrepreneurs and business leaders want to be around other researchers and feed off their shared creative energy. They want access to a shared talent pool and access to capital, they want to build relationships, and they want to be clustered together.
By utilizing the cluster data and analysis available through this site, you will be able to identify competitive advantages and develop the 21st century strategies that will drive the sustainable, long-term economic vitality of urban and rural communities across the nation.
Importantly, this platform also provides the opportunity to register in a national database that will showcase your activities and events to a wider public, allowing you to search for appropriate partners across the nation and learn from the best practices examples of your peers while providing free access to a rich database on the profile and performance of clusters and regional economies.
The U.S. Cluster Mapping and Registry project exemplifies the EDA’s commitment to promote innovation and thought leadership by providing the critical tools needed to grow regional economic ecosystems, increase the competitiveness, and create the jobs and industries of the future to ensure America’s continued leadership in the global economy.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine
The United States needs new tools and new collaboration mechanisms to boost competitiveness and achieve sustainable job growth. While much of the debate is focused on macroeconomic challenges, what matters most in the long-term is the health and dynamism of our nation’s regional economies. Most of the critical drivers of competitiveness are regional, not national. Clusters, as research over the last few years has clearly shown, are central to how regional economies work and to enhancing competitiveness.
The U.S. Cluster Mapping site provides practitioners, policy makers, and researchers with powerful data and tools to benchmark regional performance and enhance the potential of regional clusters for economic growth. This new site represents a step change in providing a comprehensive and detailed mapping of clusters in every regional economy. There are initial steps in delivering cluster data on geographic maps. The beta version of the site also allows all organizations relevant for clusters – from cluster initiatives to technology parks and regional economic development agencies – to register themselves in an open, searchable database.
This version of the site is only the start. Over time, its functionality will be steadily enhanced. The cluster organization database will be enriched with additional information about those organizations who want to share their profiles and activities. Geographical mapping capabilities will be dramatically enhanced. A broad range of comparative data about regional business environments will be added. And the site will provide a growing library of resources and tools to enable practitioners to make the most out of the data available.
The U.S. Cluster Mapping site aims to strengthen U.S. competitiveness by informing regional leaders and stimulating innovation. It will help clusters and regions to understand their economic composition, benchmark their performance, improve institutions, and find appropriate partners across the country. My colleagues and I are looking forward to working with you over the coming months and years in making this site the best possible tool in this endeavor. We invite your comments and questions, which will help us make the site better.
Professor Michael Porter