INNOBAROMETER 2006: Clusters facilitate innovation in Europe
One out of four companies within the European Union work in a cluster-like environment, characterised by a close cooperation with other businesses in the region and strong ties with the local business infrastructure. This is the result of the
survey 2006 which interviewed 3,500 companies across Europe. However, there are remarkable differences between the EU-15 and the new Member States, where only 9% of the enterprises benefit from the stimulating business environment created by clusters.
More than half of the enterprises interviewed confirm that belonging to a cluster facilitates business expansion. Companies active in a cluster are among the most innovative companies in Europe. Overall, over two-thirds of cluster-company managers agree that public authorities have an important if not fundamental role to play in support of clusters. EU cluster companies benefit the most from public support enhancing the reputation of the cluster/region, but funding specific cluster projects and facilitating networking with Universities and public authorities is also seen as important from a business point of view.