- When were France's "competitiveness clusters" set up?
The "competitiveness cluster" system was launched by the French government's CIADT planning and development committee in September 2004.
By February 2005, 105 projects had been submitted in response to the CIADT's call for proposals. The first two rounds of accreditation took place in July 2005 and March 2006. At present, there are 66 State-accredited competitiveness clusters.
- What is a "competitiveness cluster"?
A "competitiveness cluster" is defined as a geographic concentration of interconnected companies, teaching & training institutions, public-sector research labs and associated institutions in a particular field and in a given region. The cluster is committed to a collaborative approach and the generation of synergy through innovative, joint projects. These collaborations are structured around a particular market and the associated technological and scientific fields. The cluster must achieve a critical mass to attain a high level of competitiveness and an international reputation.
- What are "competitiveness clusters" for?
French's competitiveness clusters were created in a broader, Europe-wide context of fostering economic competitiveness. Clusters must catalyze the development of industrial activities, create jobs and reinforce territorial planning. Some clusters focus on emerging, hi-tech markets (nanotechnology, biotech, microelectronics, etc.) and others focus on more mature sectors (the automobile and aeronautics industries, for example.)
Clusters must benefit local stakeholders and leverage the region's skills in international (primarily European) markets.
Wealth generation, collaboration and R&D are the cornerstones of France's competitiveness cluster policy.