Drawing on extensive academic research and theory on clusters and their analysis, the methodology employed in this pilot study (sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Economic Research Grants Assessment Board) seeks to create a framework for reviewing and monitoring clusters in Wales on an ongoing basis, and generate the information necessary for successful cluster development policy to occur. The multi-method framework developed and tested in the pilot study is designed to map existing Welsh sectors with cluster characteristics, uncover existing linkages, and better understand areas of strength and weakness. The approach adopted relies on synthesising both quantitative and qualitative evidence. Statistical measures, including the size of potential clusters, are united with other evidence on input-output derived inter-linkages within clusters and to other sectors in Wales and the UK, as well as the export and import intensity of the cluster. Multi Sector Qualitative Analysis is then designed for competencies/capacity, risk factors, markets, types and crucially, the perceived strengths of cluster structures and relationships. The approach outlined above can, with the refinements recommended through the review process, provide policy-makers with a valuable tool for reviewing and monitoring individual sectors and ameliorating problems in sectors likely to decline further.
Pickernell, DG, Rowe, PA, Christie, MJ, Clifton, N & David R 2005, 'Cluster measurement and benchmarking: a recent Welsh approach', Centre for Regional Innovation and Competitiveness Conference 2005, Ballarat, Vic., 30 June - 1 July, Centre for Regional Innovation and Competitiveness, Ballarat, Vic.
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