€2m Business Co-operation Clustering Programme

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Minister Richard Bruton has launched a new €2million business cooperation clustering 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.

· This is a key measure under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012

· 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.

· Clusters will also be encouraged to seek to find members from other jurisdictions including Northern Ireland, global corporations with presences in Ireland, companies not clients of enterprise development agencies, trade/business associations, academic institutions and suppliers.

· The benefits of clustering include increased productivity and company income, increased market share and greater innovation and knowledge transfer.

The announcement marks the delivery of a key measure under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, and represents a new departure in industrial policy by encouraging businesses to cooperate with each other to develop clusters of strength.

Welcoming the announcement, Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: ‘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’.

Applications and full details of the programme, including funding levels, can be found at www.enterprise-ireland.com/clusteringprogramme

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