CADIC U.K. Pilot SME Cluster

SME-AG TANet and Catalyst SME Control 2K have been involved with clustering businesses together for mutual benefits for many years. Becoming involved with the CADIC project enhanced their abilities to help support and facilitate a core Task Force to align their business goals and develop a Governmental strategy in order to look for new business opportunities, Control 2K could see this as a way into tapping into the services that key personnel could offer via CADIC / SMECluster outlets.

TANet and Control2K have a long history of providing support for clustering in the Automotive industry field. However, in South Wales, the region where Control2K is located, this industry is now in sharp decline at the SME level, as Ford (the sole automotive manufacturer in the region) is no longer outsourcing component manufacture to local SMEs

Hence Control2K took the opportunity to take up the support from CADIC to re-initiate clustering activities in the towns and villages in the local region that could no longer rely on economic underpinning from the automotive sector. The idea was to initiate clusters which bring together local SMEs in different sectors to regenerate their local area and look at alternative market places. An interesting spin on the clustering idea was to take a community group , “Hub Cowbridge”, to see if a common template could be developed to provide clustering services beyond the local marketplace.

With this objective in mind, Control 2K in association with Hub Cowbridge and CADIC RTD Partner LML-LSE ran three workshops on “Growth through Collaboration: a bottom up approach” in Bridgend in February and March 2013. The idea at hand was to enhance the reasons for new or existing members to remain or become members and grow their businesses via diversification.

Following these workshops, the organisations and individuals involved have continued monthly informal meetings to discuss their common business issues and interests, building formal collaborations and getting support from their peers…a true demonstration of “bottom-up” clustering success.

The agenda for the second and third workshops is reproduced below:

Growth through Collaboration: a bottom up approach
Waterton Technology Centre, Waterton Industrial Estate, Bridgend. South Wales. UK, CF31 3WT
Tel: 01656 646404, email

Dates: 22 February 2013; follow-up meeting 21st March 2013

The theme of clustering has been around for many years and whilst everyone can see the benefits of clustering, very few can actually make it work. This workshop is for SMEs. would like to collaborate or are already collaborating in order to improve the effectiveness of their aims and objectives. It explores the barrier to clustering and aims to promote a solution-based, common approach to collaboration. By pulling in expertise from establishments such as the London School of Economics, the workshop is expected to exploit this knowledge.

Workshop focus
The interactive workshop is designed to strengthen the participating SMEs’ collaboration through:
- Identification of common concerns and goals
- Collaborative problem solving adopting a common approach
- Opportunity to put collaboration into practice and help find collaborative solutions

Key discussion points for SMEs:
- To increase your market scope and share your valuable experience with others.
- To obtain tangible outcomes and assist in breaking down barriers and managing collaboration.
- To provide each participant with a tailored, practical, short term 3-point action plan

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