Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

EU Cluster Portal

EU Cluster Portal

Clusters are groups of specialised enterprises – often SMEs – and other related supporting actors that cooperate closely together in a particular location. In working together SMEs can be more innovative, create more jobs and register more international trademarks and patents than they would alone. The EU Cluster Portal provides tools and information on key European initiatives, actions and events for clusters and their SMEs with the aim of creating more world-class clusters across the EU.

What is on the Portal?

  • The European Cluster Observatory – providing information, mapping tools and analysis of EU clusters and cluster policy. Also informs about events and activities for clusters.
  • Cluster Excellence – supporting benchmarking and training tools for cluster organisations.
  • Cluster Internationalisation – enabling EU clusters to profile themselves, exchange experience and search for partners for cooperation within and beyond the EU.
  • Clusters and Emerging Industries – providing background information on EU initiatives which support emerging industries.

The EU Cluster Portal complements the Smart Specialisation Platform that assists regional and national policy-makers to develop, implement and review their Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) such as through guidance documents and tools to identify regions with similar policy priorities.

Why do Clusters matter?

Clusters operate together in regional markets. 38% of European jobs are based in such regional strongholds and SME participation in clusters leads to more innovation and growth.
There are about 2000 statistical clusters in Europe, of which 150 are considered to be world-class in terms of employment, size, focus and specialisation.

According to the European Cluster Excellence Scoreboard, for a number of selected emerging industries and regions in the period 2010-2013, 33.3 % of firms in clusters showed employment growth superior to 10%, as opposed to only 18.2% of firms outside clusters.

What is the European Commission doing ?

The 2014 Communication, 'For a European Industrial Renaissance' highlighted clusters as being able to facilitate cross-sectoral and cross-border collaboration, helping SMEs to grow and internationalise. The Commission is launching several initiatives under COSME and Horizon2020 to support SME innovation and growth through clusters.

Related initiatives (167 kB)

Cluster videos (172 kB)