Jobs Minister Richard Bruton today launched a new €2million programme to encourage groups of businesses to collaborate to achieve specific business objectives, improve competitive advantage, create mutual financial gain – and ultimately create jobs.
The programme, which is based on international best practice, is being supported jointly by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the City and County Enterprise Boards. Advertisements are currently appearing in newspapers seeking participants in the programme.
Some of Ireland’s major industrial success stories – e.g. pharmaceuticals, medical devices – are based on the establishment of clusters, and this initiative is aimed at attempting to replicate that success in other sectors.
Projects must involve a minimum of five companies, and will be eligible for funding of up to €100,000. The initiative is aimed at a broad range of businesses serviced by the enterprise development agencies.
The benefits of clustering can include:
- Increased productivity and company income
- Increased market share
- Greater innovation and knowledge transfer
- Enhanced capability
Launching the initiative Minister Bruton said:
Clusters like this cannot be created by Government – but must be led by businesses and people operating at the coalface. This initiative is about encouraging businesses to look past immediate concerns, and cooperate to lift the fortunes of the sector in which they operate, to the benefit of everyone.
Applications and full details of the programme, including funding levels, can be found at www.enterprise-ireland.com/clusteringprogramme