Globally, regions and economic locations are facing a direct competition with each other. Key factors to success, in order to increase the competitiveness of regions, are high-performing technology- and innovation-related clusters and cluster initiatives. The development of cluster-driven regions to outstanding national and international locations with global technology leadership is the target of public and private actions of many actors worldwide. There are already cooperation relationships with many well-developed regions.
The development of future-oriented, efficient locations is the desire of many actors worldwide. Hence in many countries there are private and governmental measures to accelerate regional and technology- or sector-specific developments. Due to the different measures, many regions as well as their clusters and cluster initiatives have already very well developed, and therefore suit for international cooperation.
But how suitable cooperation partners and the cluster management organizations find: There is no centralized and extensive information portal, that captures the world's most powerful and sustainable acting clusters and cluster initiatives and furthermore is using uniform criteria for comparison.
In Germany, the information portal "International Cooperation" was established as an initiative of the “Federal Ministry of Education and Research” and offers more than 50 portraits of powerful cluster locations from over 30 countries. The cluster portraits are processed consistently and include aspects such as, international attractiveness, thematic areas of strength, actors and networks and developmental dynamics. In addition, "International Cooperation" provides information on international cooperation in education and research and is a communication platform for cooperation seekers from home and abroad.
Based on the information and cooperation portal "European Cluster Observatory", the "Global Cluster Observatory" was implemented as an online-based research platform. This platform introduces the various clusters as well as cluster initiatives in the U.S.A., Canada, India and Japan and provides additional information about regions, industries and cluster-related supporting measures.