Cluster is an ecosystem formed on a certain geographical area, operating same or similar particular field that shares the common difficulties and opportunities cooperating in order to increase competitiveness for different scaled actors such as companies, suppliers, service providers, entrepreneurships, universities, research centers, financial actors, related public institutions, non-governmental organizations.
The first cluster concept is developed by Prof. Michael Porter. Concept of clustering is not only used by theoreticians/ development economists in the economy of development, but also by the practicians and development agents. Concentrated on a certain geography forming an economical exclusion has been brought out approximately at the end of the 19th Century with different conceptualization by neo-classical economists. Prior approaches for cluster theories Economies of Agglomeration concept by Alfred Marshall (1890) and Geographical Economics concept by Paul Krugman studied in Geography and Trade (1991). (Wikipedia)
Porter clusters are defined firstly as ‘ A cluster is a group sharing common challenges and opportunities in a particular geography, at a certain (economical) field that are formed by associated firms an relevant institutions’ and these concepts have formed a common language by the institutions working with an aim of regional development. Within time, the definition of Porter had begun to use as ‘A cluster is a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities and complementarities. The geographic scope of a cluster can range from a single city or state.’ (Cooke,2001)
To define the firms in a region as ‘regional agglomeration’; local firms and relevant firms from different scales possessing competitiveness power and size in that sector and a strong connection intercompany are required. Terms of being invested by an international firm in that region (Porter, 1998) and having triplex bottom line without fail (TCI, 2020) are being added to the conditions in some studies.
Correspondingly, clustering is coming together in a form of constructing a strong connection and cooperation in between the companies, suppliers, service providers, universities, research centers, financial actor, related public institutions and actors with the aim to possess a competitive power at a certain sector or at a similar economical fields.
In his studies, Porter describes the regions in the world are in a competition between themselves to be the most productive, efficient, and more importantly to be an innovative region at where products are realized at ease. (Porter,1998) Regions built their competitiveness superiority onto ‘innovative clusters’, where they constitute competitive and cooperative companies, suppliers, service providers and research centers. (İZKA,2012) Clusters provides use of a common talent pool, reduction in operations and travelling costs between manufacturers and suppliers, increase in interrelations of firms and related institutions, by this way they provide an environment for accumulation of knowledge and spread use of technology. Most importantly, they lead to the development of synergies constituting innovation. (Carnegie Mellon University, 2002) States see clusters as entrepreneurs and potential driving force of innovation. (UNIDO, 2013) With these causes, clusters and studies of clustering are being supported and preferred as a policy to increase competitive power in regional clustering.
Withstanding examples are found in many other geographies, sectors and scales in the World such as America-Silicon Valley ( Cluster of informatics), Holland- Food Valley (Cluster of Food), Australia- MTNS MADE Creative Industries Cluster ( Cluster of Creative Industries).
Carnegie Mellon University, 2002: Cluster-Based Community Development Strategies, A Guide for Connecting Communities with Industry Cluster Strategies
Cooke, P., 2001: Clusters as Key Determinants of Economic Growth: The Example of Biotechnology; Cluster Policies – Cluster Development? Edited by Åge Mariussen. Stockholm 2001. (Nordregio Report 2001:2)
İZKA, 2012: İzmir Kümelenme Stratejisi
Porter, M.E., 1998: On Competition, Harvard Business School Press
The Competitiveness Institute (TCI), 03.04.2020
UNIDO, 2013: The UNIDO Approach to Cluster Development; Key Principles and Project Experiences for Inclusive Growth