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									    Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School
                         to Map Clusters in U.S. Regions

       Project sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration

BOSTON, December 1, 2010 - The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard
Business School has been selected by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development
Administration (EDA) to lead the Cluster Mapping Project for the United States. The project
aims to provide policymakers and development practitioners across America with rich data and
tools for understanding industry clusters in every region of the country, together with tool kits
and case studies to assist in formulating economic development strategies. In addition, the
project will develop a directory of active cluster initiatives throughout the country.

“EDA is pleased to work with leading cluster-development expert Professor Michael E. Porter
and the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness to develop a comprehensive map of our
nation’s economic regions and help drive sustainable economic job growth,” said U.S. Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. “This effort reinforces
President Obama's commitment to promote America’s clusters and provide business and
community leaders with the information they need to capitalize on their region’s unique assets.”

The cluster concept was developed and spread globally by the Institute’s founder, Michael E.
Porter. Clusters are geographic concentrations of firms, suppliers, support services, specialized
infrastructure, producers of related products, and specialized institutions (e.g., training programs
and business associations) that arise in particular fields in particular locations. Examples of U.S.
clusters include light aircraft production in Wichita, filmed entertainment in Los Angeles,
information technology in Silicon Valley, and boat building in Maine. Clusters are a striking
feature of all modern economies and important drivers of productivity and innovation. Cluster
specialization is observed in the economic profile of every U.S. region.

Professor Porter pioneered the comprehensive mapping of clusters in the U.S. economy using
statistical methods in the early 2000’s. Harvard’s Cluster Mapping Project (CMP) was made
public in 2003. The methodology and definitions originated at Harvard have already spread to
the European Union, Canada, and other countries. This project will build on and improve the
data and methods used in the CMP and disseminate it nationally and internationally.

“There is growing statistical evidence that clusters play a fundamental role in regional job
growth, wages, patenting, and new company formation. At a time when our nation needs to
reinvigorate its competitiveness and lay the foundations for more sustainable growth, cluster
development is one of the key policy agendas that we cannot afford to neglect,” said Professor
Porter. “This project will provide practitioners and policymakers with enhanced data and new
tools to mobilize clusters, strengthen regional economic development efforts, and improve
federal economic policies and their implementation.”

An important component of the project is to expand research on the role of clusters and cluster
initiatives in regional prosperity. This research agenda will both inform the project’s design as
well as benefit from enhanced cluster mapping data and methods. The Entrepreneurship Center
at MIT and the Fox Business School at Temple University are lead partners with the Institute in
this effort.

“This is an excellent opportunity to better integrate our growing understanding of clusters with
MIT’s expertise in building entrepreneurial companies and understanding the ecosystems that
support innovation-based entrepreneurship. We believe that an effective policy environment
must leverage the strong two-way connection between cluster development and
entrepreneurship,” said Scott Stern, MIT Sloan School of Management Distinguished Professor
of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management.

Economic development organizations in four regions of the U.S. will work with Monitor Group,
the Cambridge-based consulting firm, to create a national directory of cluster initiatives and
better connect the project with the needs of the governmental and non-governmental users. The
regional partners are the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; the
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, John Adams Innovation Institute; the Oregon Business
Council; and the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. These partners will also lead the
development of case studies on the effective use of the cluster concept in public policy and create
practical tool kits for cluster-based competitiveness efforts for use by practitioners.

 “Since its inception, the Oregon Business Plan has been built around the recognition that
clusters are the engines of growth for the Oregon economy. We are pleased to contribute our
experience in promoting cluster development and facilitating cross-cluster learning to this
project,” said Duncan Wyse, President of the Oregon Business Council, a business association
that advocates for policies that improve Oregon's quality of life and economy. “The systematic
data about the presence of clusters and cluster initiatives across the nation will enable us to move
our own efforts to a new level and enable our peers in other regions to adopt a similar approach
in their work.”

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):

This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public
service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting
competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide
economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with
distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and
The cluster mapping project is part of EDA’s Jobs and Innovation Partnership, a long-term
prosperity plan to help build an environment where the private sector can flourish and create
connections that will bring together vibrant regional economic ecosystems.

About the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness (www.isc.hbs.edu):

The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, founded and led by
Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, studies competition and its
implications for company strategy; the competitiveness of nations, regions and cities; and
solutions to social problems. The Institute is dedicated to extending the research pioneered by
Professor Porter and disseminating it to scholars and practitioners on a global basis.

Michael Porter received the first Lifetime Achievement Award in Economic Development from
the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2008. The award will be presented only rarely, when a
private citizen’s body of work and assistance to the federal government has significantly
enhanced the nation’s approach to economic development.


For more information, please contact:

Cleve Mesidor
U.S. Economic Development Administration
cmesidor@eda.doc.gov (202)482-4085

Rich Bryden
Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness
rbryden@hbs.edu (617)495-6777

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