Bruton announces €2m 'cluster' scheme

Mon, Jul 9, 2012, 01:00

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has unveiled a €2 million programme that aims to encourage businesses to band together to create clusters.

It is hoped that creating such cluster will encourage businesses to collaborate, helping them to improve competitive advantage and create jobs.

The programme is being supported by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the City and County Enterprise Boards, and the search is on for companies to participate.

A minimum of five firms must take part, and funding of up to €100,000 is available.

“If we are to see the jobs recovery we so badly need, we must be more innovative in the ways we seek to move the performance of our industries to the next level,” Mr 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.”

Ireland has already successfully created clusters in some sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry and medical devices sector.

The current programme will also seek to include members from Northern Ireland, global corporations with operations here and academic institutions.

“Clusters are proven catalysts of change. By engaging in collaborative activities, companies can ultimately improve their productivity and compete more effectively on the regional, national and international stages,” said chief executive of Enterprise Ireland Frank Ryan.