Clusters are groups of companies, groups of interconnected companies and institutions, working sector and in closely related geographically and can cooperate and benefit from exploiting synergies and substantial external economies.
Its members operate in an environment characterized by a high degree of competition and cooperation, and a critical mass of highly educated employees. Clusters can be grouped a wide range of industries, services and even customers.
- A cluster is not an industry, but the model, and its subject matter, the industrial district, are increasingly implanted in important industries consist of tangible synergies (automotive, mining, energy, information technology, etc.) why it is increasingly seen, for example, that the main and auxiliary industries share the management motivated by the proximity of their interests and knowledge.
- A cluster is not a trade union or an association of providers of services (tourism, business, transportation, logistics), but brings together companies with these services and the industrial world, since its goal is to share experiences and knowledge to eliminate duplication of efforts and thus improve productivity.
- A cluster is a consumer organization, but it may belong to the main clients of the productive activity of the question, to live together in harmony and influence their environment at national and international levels.
The purpose of a cluster, in short, is to merge the interests, knowledge, know-how, corporate culture and styles of all its members to win every productivity, competitiveness, and group presence in the economy sector globalized.
The main contributions of the competitiveness clusters of firms are specified in the impetus to the movement and creation of knowledge among the participating entities, improving productivity through greater specialization and complementarity of its activities, the promotion of innovation, notably through joint research, and, finally, increasing the bargaining power of firms, which reduces transaction costs considerably.
Ultimately, a cluster, a term popularized by economist Michael Porter in 1990 in his book The Competitive Advantage of Nations, has as main objective to identify and support the interests and horizontal collective actions.