CADIC Innovation Cluster Structure
CADIC's SME Innovation Clusters “though embedded in, transcend geographical location, focus on global markets, operate as ad-hoc and/or long term business networks, are ICT enabled, and are based on dynamic aggregations of capabilities of different SMEs”.

(Damaskopoulos et al, 2008)

Each CADIC innovation cluster is bottom-up initiated and developed by the SMEs themselves, according to their needs and desires and acts as a dynamic hub operating in a global system of flows of Intellectual Capital (IC) and economic activity. The actions taken by the SMEs in the cluster are based on collaborative advantage: they benefit both the individual SME and the Cluster as a whole. At the centre of each cluster is a Catalyst SME, which is a cluster and business networking organisation involved in promoting core cluster activities.

SME Cluster meeting coordinated by Spanish Catalyst SME SIDASA

Core Cluster activities include:

Collaboration Activities is the generic term for all kinds of actual collaboration within an innovation cluster from the perspective of the participating SMEs, e.g.
– taking part in a cluster
collaborative learning event to define common-goals,
– taking part in
Intellectual Capital Benchmarking activities to learn from each other and to solve actual problems in their intellectual capital resource base,
– working together on a specific project in a sub-group of the cluster producing an added value for clients,
–  developing new technologies or prototypes which provide a benefit for each participating company.

Initiation Activities are those activities that a catalyst SME wants to do in order to initiate something new on a cluster level. e.g.,
– initiating a totally new cluster with new topics,
– initiating sub-groups,
– initiating cooperation workshop,
– initiating a creative project,
– initiating a joint venture involving SMEs within the cluster.

Orientation Activities comprise all activities concerned with gathering information about one or more clusters from the perspective of one company, e.g.
– orientation concerning profiles of the SME members in the cluster or topics being discussed,
– helping the cluster to increase transparency about characteristics the cluster members in order to have an orientation about opportunities of collaboration;
– finding out which competencies are missing so far and should be brought into the cluster by finding new members who could fill the gap.

cluster facilitation and support services are matched to these cluster core activities, so that these activities can structure the service portfolio offered by the Cluster Facilitation team

Clusters Currently initiated in CADIC core countries

Eight SME clusters are currently initiated and implemented in the six CADIC Core countries (France Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, UK). Each implementation followed a bottom-up process, consonant with the CADIC Framework,focusing on a particular branch of the EU Industrial and Commercial Sectors where strengthening of SMEs' quality, production and performance, founded on their intellectual capital enhanced through networking, is top priority in establishing EU competitiveness and world leadership.

Five of these clusters were CADIC Pilot Clusters, as identified in the CADIC Description of Work. In each Pilot Cluster, the SME-AG and Catalyst SME for the cluster are partners in the CADIC EU FP7 project. The remaining 3 clusters are CADIC Transfer clusters initiated by CADIC Transfer Partners (TP) who, in line with the CADIC Dissemination Concept, act as first pilot users of the CADIC system, methodologies and tools, apart from the initial partners in the CADIC EU FP7 project.


The branches addressed by CADIC's first eight SME clusters are:

Spain: Engineering
Greece: Regional Development and Regeneration
Italy: Mechanical Engineering
France: Regional Development
Portugal: Carpentry
U.K: Creative Industries
England : Creative Sustainable Development
Scotland: Creative Industries

CADIC and is currently in the process of developing these SME Clusters. However you can click on each cluster's name to find out many things about it. In particular:

  • –Goals of the cluster
  • –Motivation to initiate the cluster and to start collaboration with other companies.
  • –Factors contributing to successful collaboration
  • –Problems and challenges overcome in facilitating the cluster
  • –Support from CADIC (methods, tools, services, actions that helps the cluster develop

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