Clusters are group of firms engaged in similar or related economic activities in a national economy. They are defined as co-location of partners, services providers, educational and research institution related through linkages of different types that complement each other by joint relationships of exchange and activities along one (several) value creation chain.
Innovative Cluster Initiative (CI) is an organized effort (intervention) that aims at increasing SME competitiveness and growth of the local industry and hence socio-economic development. It involves cluster firms, government and the research community (academia) in a Triple Helix Model.
Innovative Cluster is a new concept in Tanzania, although the concept is becoming an increasingly popular particularly with regard of improving competitiveness of entrepreneurial firms. COSTECH uses innovative cluster as a collaborative platform for technology transfer and promoting demand driven research.
Currently COSTECH in collaboration with SIDO and Swedish Partner (SICD) are implementing a three years program on ‘Fostering Innovation for Sustainable Socio Economic Development, with two components, Innovative clusters and Innovation fund components (2017-2020).
The Objective of the Current Cluster Program (2017-2020)
To develop a method for replication and scale-up of competitive and innovative clusters in the emerging knowledge society of TanzaniaThe program has five specific objectives, all related to the partners in focus and their capacity building:
1. Capacity building for COSTECH and SIDO to promote, govern, and manage innovative cluster interventions
2. Enhancing capacity in regional and local government authorities in the implementation of innovative clusters initiatives
3. Enhance sustainable competitiveness of relevant innovative cluster products and services
4. Disseminate and develop the cluster research model among clusters and academic/research institutions
5. Building ICT-support for cluster development
The main outcome of this program is the demonstrated capacity of the stakeholders in cluster interventions to collaborate and co-develop for increased competitiveness of the clusters and to secure their contributions to regional development. This outcome will be demonstrated in a publication “Guidelines for development of innovative clusters”, that can be used for the replication and scale-up of innovative clusters.